Jetty jumping a leap of faith

An incident involving a man leaping from the Coochiemudlo Island Jetty in recent months has sparked warnings that serious injuries can result. As the man jumped he hit the dock, dislocated his shoulder and was pulled unconscious from the water by local Surf Lifesaver personnel.

Redland City Divisional Councillor, Lance Hewlett said that adults present a strong role model for children and is urging parents and other adults to demonstrate safety on the water this summer, particularly on jetties.

“No one wants to be the fun police, but with fifteen jetties in the City, it’s important to remind people of the serious and life-changing injuries that can be sustained by jumping or diving into water from heights.

“In particular, jumping into shallow water or water with poor visibility offers potential to hit sunken objects and suffer spinal injuries.

“These docks are also busy ferry terminals and children are jumping straight into harm’s way or leaving the gate open for smaller children to be put at risk of drowning.

“High use jetties such as Coochiemudlo Island jetty have been given an extended gangway roof to prevent access, and additional signs are being installed to discourage jetty jumping,” Cr Lance Hewlett said.

Quite apart from the health risk for those involved and damage to infrastructure, it is an offence under Local Law 4 to jump from a jetty and carries a maximum penalty of $2523, with an on the spot fine of $252.

Coochiemudlo’s Surf Lifesaving Queensland Vice President, Col Sloane said, “Dislocations from hitting the dock, damage from falling from heights, and lacerations from razor-sharp barnacles and oysters growing on the structures around the water’s edge are all typical injuries from this type of activity.

“We want Redlanders to play it safe and not put themselves at risk in the water,” Mr. Sloane said.

In 2016, 90 people in Queensland¹ were diagnosed with spinal chord injury, some of which were diving and water related.

Members of the public who witness dangerous behaviour on jetties are urged to report it to Council through the Customer Service Centre on 3829 8999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 100.

¹ State of Queensland (Queensland Health), Statewide adult spinal cord injury health service plan 2016-2026, Brisbane Queensland, April 2016.