A LIFE-SAVING agency has issued a stark warning to seasiders after groups of people were caught ‘tombstoning’ off of a pier.

Dover Coastguard tasked HM Coastguard Southend to barge Pier, in Shoebury, on Saturday afternoon, following reports of between ten and 15 people jumping into the water.

As they arrived on the scene, the careless group were about to leave the site, but were spoken to by the coastguard team regarding the dangers of tombstoning off of the pier.

Despite several warning signs positioned over the structure, the coastguard is frequently informed of people breaking into the restricted Barge Pier with the aim of jumping off.

The agency has now warned daredevils of the dangers of tombstoning and encouraging others to do it.

A Southend Coastguard spokesman said: “The signs are there to keep you safe, but these are frequently ignored.

“There are strong currents underneath the pier, which will drag a person under water and there is a risk to life.

“Every year people are seriously injured and even killed by jumping into water from cliffs, rocks or other structures, be it Barge Pier or Bell Wharf we have locally.

“There is a reason it's called ’tombstoning’ - don’t be one of the statistics.”