Danish Kids Get Wet and Wild From Shipping Container Diving Platform
When you think of the idea of a ‘shipping container diving platform’ you could think of somewhere from which to scuba dive and to explore the depths… Or as somewhere to jump from.
Let’s face it, give a kid a hot day and some water and they’re likely to swim in it to cool off. Present them with a pier or a cliff and some water and they’ll egg each other into jumping from it.
Tombstoning (as some call it) can be very dangerous. Not every kid’s as sensible as your writer who used to swim as deep as he could from the bottom of the cliff to see how deep it was before making the decision to let him and his mates take the leap.
Let’s face it – kids can be stupid. They’ll often find out that the water is too shallow or has jagged rocks just beneath the surface when they hit the water from 10 metres up, by which time they have no way out. That’s one of the reasons so many die from tombstoning around the world every year.
Taming the tombstoners
It seems that the locals of Halsskov on the island of Copenhagen in Denmark came to the conclusion that if you can’t stop kids from being lemmings then it makes sense to give the human lemmings a place to do it safely.
Halsskov used to have a ferry port to link to the Danish mainland but a bridge was built and the ferry went out of business. Kids must have had a fine old time jumping from there (and other, more dangerous spots). That seems to be the reason that someone had the idea of the bright yellow shipping container tower for them to jump from.
Shipping container diving tower
Used shipping containers can cost as little as a few thousand dollars. Swedish architects Sweco came up with the idea of stacking three on top of the old ferry pier, and having a fourth as a changing room.
The lowest platform to jump from is four metres, which is still quite a height to the uninitiated. The next platform is eight metres and the top one is a dizzying 11 metres from the water.
There are ladders within to climb to the level you dare, and the platforms are lined with treated wood. Holes have been peppered through the stacked shipping containers to allow light in. Overall, a very cheap and simple project.
One can imagine that the local youth will have a right laugh with that. Halsskov children will have a rite of passage in life, spending the heat of the summer jumping off the shipping containers, perhaps having some funny cigarettes and exploring affairs of the heart. Sounds like a pretty blissful experience!
Why not other places?
Almost everywhere near water – be it a deep river, a lake or the sea will have kids leaping off cliffs. You hear of local Coastguards complaining at kids doing it (while not mentioning the fact they used to do it themselves). Isn’t it a good idea to prepare a safe spot for kids to do it? Have a small fee to cover a lifeguard through the summer and you’ll have fewer tearful mothers speaking to the media about the dangers of tombstoning and more kids with happy memories of using a local utility that was built for them to do as they might anyway. Sounds like a great idea to me!
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