Coasteering Conference

Coasteering is one of the most exciting activities which it is possible to do with either friends or whilst leading groups.  I first started exploring the Jersey coast by swimming, scrambling and jumping in 1969 and have continued to do so regularly up to the present time.  We were coasteering before it was called coasteering and have certainly never called it tombstoning.
We just wanted to have a good time and reach places which most people had never seen.  I first started leading groups of school children in 1980, when it was a much simpler time, I don’t think that we had ever heard of a risk assessment, although we were automatically continually assessing our location and the possibility of injury, it was something that came with experience.
The last few years have seen an explosion in participation.  Either through the commercial sector, with numerous companies offering the coasteering experience or unfortunately the largely drink induced jumping from great heights with at times unfortunate consequences.  As a result the authorities have taken an interest in this activity and largely through lack of knowledge have started to attempt to regulate the activity.  For example, pier jumping is now banned in Jersey but it is something we had done safely with thousands of young people for nearly 40 years.  It isn’t going to stop young people jumping, it just means that we can’t offer training to ensure that they do it safely.  
One positive move forward that is that a number of providers from around the country have got together to create what is known as the National Coasteering Charter.  Have look at the RoSPA website for the press release as well as being able to download information on skills and competences.
In the Channel Islands we have our inaugural conference on Saturday 17th March in Jersey between 10.00 and 16.00, with both talks and a practical session.  We are trying to get as many people to attend as possible from the commercial sector, voluntary organizations, education etc and best of all it is free.  So if you are interested in attending please contact me for further information.   
By tracking the visitors to the site it is possible to see that a significant number of visitors to the site live in Jersey or on our sister island, Guernsey, so there no apologies for putting on something which might see quite parochial.