- The RNLI has warned storm chasers to avoid coastal areas as 90mph winds hit
This is the moment a foolhardy diver leaps into crashing waves as Storm Isha rolled in over the Atlantic and people were warned to ‘stay away from the sea’.
The swimmer ignored local warnings and braved the icy waters as he took a running jump off the famous Blackrock Diving Tower in Galway, Ireland on Sunday.
Footage of the man plunging from the platform prompted backlash, with some criticising him for risking not only his life but those who might have to rescue him.
‘What idiots like this clearly don’t care about is when they get in trouble it will be RNLI volunteers who will respond, voluntarily putting themselves in danger to keep others safe, reckless and stupid,’ one person said on X.
It comes after the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard urged storm chasers to take care around coastal areas as large waves and high winds batter the UK and Ireland.
There have been warnings to thrill seekers ‘not to put lives at risk by taking stupid selfies’ or videos at storm-lashed seaside promenades, piers and cliffs.
The RNLI warned that people could be swept away and that rescuers who would be forced to try to save them from the sea could drown.
‘Amber and yellow weather warnings have been issued as Storm Isha hits the UK and Ireland today/Sunday, bringing winds of up to 80mph in some coastal areas, particularly along the west and north east coasts of England, Wales and in Northern Ireland‘ said the RNLI.
‘For those who plan to visit the coast this weekend, the strong gusts pose a significant risk to safety and we are urging the public to exercise extreme caution, particularly along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.’
RNLI National Water Safety Education Partner Sam Johnson said: ‘The predicted weekend weather could lead to dangerous and uncertain conditions as strong winds hit the coasts across the UK and Ireland.
‘If you plan on visiting the coast, the RNLI advise the public to stay a safe distance from the water as conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.
‘Cold water shock is a very real danger for anyone entering water that is 15C or below and at this time of year, we can expect temperatures of 6 to 10C.
The lifeboat service’s advice if caught in dangerous waters is to ‘Float to Live’, meaning people should ‘lie back in the water, extend your arms and legs and try to relax as best as you can until you get control of your breathing.
It echoes a similar warning when Storm Brian hit in October 2017.
Idiot ‘storm chasers’ were slammed after they screamed abuse at coastguards who warned them about taking selfies in the teeth of Brian’s fury.
They were smiling into the camera for ‘Look at me, I’m a hero’ snaps to send to their friends a few yards from killer waves crashing and pounding the beach at Porthleven, Cornwall.
When coastguards shouted a warning that they could be swept away and drowned, they replied with a torrent of abuse and carried on filming.
A Porthleven Coastguard spokesman said at the time: ‘Thank you so much giving the team grief for trying to get as close to the sea as possible.
‘We are there for safety and prevention and we are really sorry if we messed up your picture of the wave which was just about to pick you up and place you nicely into the sea.
‘Next time could you please think, as we are not there to spoil your day but to try to make it a little less traumatic.’