A man who was paralysed while tombstoning has urged youngsters not to end up in a wheelchair like him.

Bill Neill spoke out after a teenager risked his life by jumping off Durdle Door into the sea.

Mr Neill has repeatedly warned of the dangers of the craze and is convinced someone will be killed locally if youngsters continue to jump into the sea from dangerous heights.

Beachgoers watched in horror as the youngster plunged from the 200ft high arch in the latest scare.

Coastguards are also warning that the lethal craze, which claimed five lives last year, could lead to further fatalities along the Dorset coast.

It was initially feared that the teenager, believed to be about 18, was stuck on the landmark and the emergency services were alerted.

The Portland Coastguard helicopter Rescue 106 was scrambled and a rescue team was despatched from Lulworth to save the man but while they were on their way he jumped from the rocky edge.

Bruce Lack, watch manager for Portland Coastguard, said the man was lucky to survive without killing or ‘maiming’ himself as he could have landed on rocks or in shallow water when he jumped.

He said: “At 3.25pm we received a number of 999 calls expressing concern for a member of the public who appeared to be stuck having climbed up the face of Durdle Door.

“We tasked the Lulworth Coast Rescue Team and the rescue helicopter 106 from Portland.

“They were both en-route when we received another 999 call to say this lad had jumped into the sea.

Mr Lack described the jump as ‘crazy’.

He said: “It’s a very easy way to kill yourself or to maim yourself for life. People have been killed and more could die.”

“The water is very shallow there other than the one place right underneath the arch and we were very concerned that somebody would jump into shallow water from that height.

“Last year five young men lost their lives to leaping from cliffs and other structures, sometimes known as tombstoning. Thirteen young people also sustained serious injuries such as dislocations, head and back injuries and broken bones.”

Mr Lack recalled how a man was rescued from the seabed after tombstoning from the arch three years ago.

The 26-year-old suffered fits and bleeding but was saved by passers-by. Mr Lack said: “That time a diver happened to be there and got him to the shore with an inflatable beach toy.

“Again by amazing coincidence there was a medic on the beach and they saved his life.”

“It’s a very dangerous thing to anywhere because you never know what’s under the water.

“You don’t know how deep it is or if there are rocks or an undercurrent.”

A group of teenagers found at the scene denied that any of them had jumped from the arch but were warned of the dangers of tombstoning by the coastguards.