Swimmers have been warned to take more care at a dangerous swim spot in Melbourne after two young women were seriously injured.
Emily Strickland, 22, was swimming in the water at The Pillars in Mount Martha last week, when a person dived from the cliff edge and landed on top of her.
She became instantly paralysed and local lifesavers, who do not patrol that beach, were forced to yell instructions to swimmers to get her to safety.
“They didn’t really know what to do but at least they were there for me,” Ms Strickland told 7 NEWS.
“If they weren’t, I could have drowned.”
She was rushed to The Alfred hospital and treated for spinal injuries including a damaged vertebrae.
On New Year’s Day, Sarah Jacka, 12, broke both her legs when she jumped from the cliffs.
“I went into the water with my knees straight and my knees went back,” she told 7 NEWS.
“When I came up, I couldn’t feel my legs at all and then I just started screaming for my dad.”
Her father said it was “harrowing” to find his daughter unable to feel her toes or legs.
“My mind raced to the worst possible outcome — a broken back. We’ve honestly been counting our fortunes since then, even though she’s got four broken bones we consider ourselves lucky,” he told 7 NEWS.
Mount Martha Lifesaving Club is urging people to be “mindful of the risks” before jumping from the cliffs.
“The Mt Martha Pillars have been in the press this week after members of the public have sustained serious injuries in separate accidents,” the rescue organisation told 7NEWS.
“We urge all members of the public to be mindful of the risks at The Pillars — if you are going to jump, ‘look before you leap,’ check the depth and check for submerged rocks.
“The Pillars is not a patrolled area and is difficult to perform rescues. We ask everyone to think about the risks and watch out for your mates.”