A DAREDEVIL with a head for heights who climbed Coate Water’s crumbling diving platform has been condemned by the park’s owner.

A witness spotted the man on top of the derelict listed structure on Sunday morning and his actions have been condemned by Swindon Borough Council. The borough looks after the site and warned of the dangers that could have led to the man being seriously hurt.

A spokesman said: “We can only assume that climbing on top of the Coate Water diving board was on this budding Tom Daley’s bucket list.

“As challenges go, it is one of the stupidest out there. Aside from the fact the steps are covered in bacteria-filled guano, we know this individual accessed the park at about 6.20am, so if he had got into trouble there would be no-one around to help him.

“We do not know if he jumped into the water, but if he did and tripped, he could have hit his head on the concrete structure on the way down, or become trapped in the silt and weed below the surface of the water.

“Then there is the poor quality of the water itself and the risk of contracting Weil's disease from rat urine, not to mention the stomach and digestion problems which could be caused by swallowing the water.

“The water temperature in the lake is also very low, so there is a real risk of cold-incapacitation and drowning.”

The 30ft-high diving board has been targeted by urban explorers and would-be daredevils. The Adver reported on three young men jumping off the top diving board in 2008. Last year, one group of YouTubers decided to have a barbecue at the top of the platform.

The park is a popular spot for families and dogwalkers. Terry Carpenter said: “The diving platform is very dangerous. Eventually, someone is going to get hurt.

“They could jump off and who knows what’s in the water now. It’s a big health and safety risk. Warning signs could be put up but the people who do things like this won’t take any notice, it’s like a challenge to them. It’s a shame that the platform has been left to rot, it should be restored because it’s part of the heritage of the area.”

The diving board at Coate Water was first built out of wood in 1922, then replaced with a concrete Art Deco-style diving platform in 1935 which was designed by JBL Thompson.

A public health and safety concern led to swimming at Coate Water being forbidden in 1958 and the platform was closed off to the public in the 1970s. Historic England made the park’s platform a Grade II-listed structure in 2013 as it is one of only four inter-war concrete diving platforms left standing in England.