Plans to introduce a fixed sliding gate on Tenby harbour pier during holiday season are in the pipeline to help combat instances of anti-social behaviour and safety concerns over ‘tombstoning’ at the locality.

Local authorities took the decision over the Whitsun holiday period last year to close off a section of the pier at high tides, after serious safety concerns resurfaced with the volume of youngsters and people jumping in the water causing risk of injury from vessel movements within the harbour.

Concerns were raised last summer that Tenby’s picturesque harbour was turned into a ‘party zone’ with dangerous 'tombstoning' reported (Pic. Gareth Davies Photogrpahy)

Anti-social behaviour concerns were also raised, with teenagers congregating down the pier, drinking and then diving in the sea, with some choosing to climb onto nearby premises to gain higher vantage points to jump from.

The volume of ‘boy racers’ driving to the location for meet ups during evenings and after dark had also been flagged-up by the authorities as an anti-social concern, with efforts to reduce the numbers being made, including introducing fencing to close off the pier, along with security staff manning the area.

Tenby harbour warning
(Observer pic)

Tenby Harbour User's Association members recently had it confirmed to them at a meeting that a design is in process for a fixed sliding gate at the pier.

When the matter was discussed, with members welcoming the move, the chairman noted how the temporary gate had almost overnight, changed the culture and negative atmosphere emerging at times on the pier, with crowds which had been gathering at the spot, moving elsewhere.

Tenby pier gates
Gates were introduced last summer at Tenby harbour (Observer pic)

In the mean time Heras fencing will return in May to ensure the working pier is not compromised in 2024. This will again be manned by Tenby boatmen and the harbourmaster.

Pembrokeshire Count Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, Cllr Rhys Sinnett said at the time of the issues last year: “It is a working harbour and there are very real safety concerns from boat operators and Harbour staff when individuals use the area to swim and jump.

One of the warning boards displayed in Tenby last summer about the dangers of 'tombstoning'

“We took the decision to restrict access to the end of the pier to boat owners and trip ticket holders at high tide following serious concerns raised about the volumes of people and risk of injury from boats.”

One boat operator had reported that on one occasion, five teenagers jumped from the pier directly in front of his vessel, with one shouting ‘bomb the boat!’

“I appreciate that teenagers need to have fun, but a tragedy isn’t far away if this isn’t policed correctly,” they remarked.