Horrified mum captures moment son fractures spine 'tombstoning' at Pembrokeshire's Blue Lagoon

Lindsay's teenage son Sam had to be taken into hospital after injuring himself in the jump Credit: Media Wales

A mother is warning of the dangers posed by tombstoning after she witnessed her teenage son fracturing his spine at a Pembrokeshire beauty spot.

Lindsay Wilson's son Sam had to be taken to hospital after tombstoning - jumping from height into water in an upright position - at the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy, a former quarry site with high slate walls.

Having completed the 30ft jump once already, Sam went back to the top of the wall for a second go.

Lindsay said she pulled out her phone to film his second jump but sensed something was wrong after he emerged from the water, having hit the surface hard in a "slightly seated position."

She described seeing the 16-year-old as having "turned pale" as he clung to the rocks in clear distress.

Sam had to be airlifted away from the cliffs before being taken to hospital Credit: Media Wales

'Smacking onto concrete'

"Sam's a big lad for 16 and a fantastic swimmer so we didn't think anything was up initially," said Lindsay, who was later told that the impact from that height was the equivalent of 'smacking onto concrete'.

"There were others in the lagoon at the same time and we just thought he was just waiting for them to get out first."But then we could see he'd turned pale and was holding onto the rocks."

She added that a woman called Tessa from Celtic Quest Coasteering, a local outdoors adventure group which had also been in the water, swam over to Sam."She got him on his back and, using a paddleboard as a makeshift stretcher, a few of them swam him over to the shore. We're so grateful to them for doing that, I can't imagine what might have happened otherwise."

The teenager was then airlifted away from the cliffs by a coastguard helicopter to a waiting ambulance before being transferred to hospital in Carmarthen later that afternoon (Tuesday, August 2).

Consultants sent Sam for a CT scan which showed that he had a spinal fracture which would require him to wear a body brace.

Tombstoning involves jumping into water from a height in a vertical/upright position Credit: Media Wales

"When he was first checked out he must have still been in shock because he told doctors that he couldn't feel any pain in his back - so it's a good job they were so thorough and insisted he have the scan," Lindsay said.

"We're just hoping that the injury will heal itself over time and he won't need any surgery.

"In the meantime me and his dad are sleeping on his bedroom floor to make sure he has everything he needs should he wake up in the middle of the night.

"He should be enjoying his school summer break at the moment, instead he's in terrible pain and can barely move.She added: "I just want to make sure everyone realises the risks of this sort of thing and ensure no one else has to go through what we've been through.

"But, given there were still kids jumping off the ledge into the water after Sam had his accident, I'm worried that warning's falling on deaf ears."