DIVING IN: Local Matt O’Garey jumping off the jetty with his son Harrison, 13 and a friend.
DIVING IN: Local Matt O’Garey jumping off the jetty with his son Harrison, 13 and a friend. Claudia Jambor

Jumping on jetty guidelines

RENEWAL of signage at the Coffs Harbour jetty has left some in our community pondering if the long-standing tradition of jumping off the iconic landmark is in jeopardy.

Four signs, two at the entrance and two further along the landmark, have been re-erected stating that diving and jumping off are prohibited.

The Advocate has been contacted by members of the community who have noticed the renewed signage and expressed their concern the popular activity has been banned.

Matt O'Garey has lived in Coffs Harbour for nearly two decades. He says to prohibit jumping off the jetty is ridiculous.

"It's OH&S gone way too far because you won't be able to have that thrill and that excitement of doing something that's not really that dangerous but it has got that excitement factor to it," Mr O'Garey said.

Mr O'Garey said the area of the jetty where people jumped presents minimal risk for injury, unlike creeks and dams where debris could be hidden in murky waters.

"The only thing that is concealed under the surface in this environment is sand and it's not shallow enough where people dive here to be a risk," he said.

Some locals have also claimed the ladder at the timber platform has been shortened making it difficult for swimmers to climb up from the water.

A Coffs Harbour City Council spokesperson said no council work has been conducted there since repairing damage by the big storm in 2009. 

Four years ago a man, then aged 35, misjudged his jump and landed on a timber platform, five metres below the jetty deck, in the early hours.

Police said the man was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred.

The city council couldn't clarify if there was a fine for those who disobeyed general prohibition signs.