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Brighton Cancels Christmas Day Swim

Brighton Cancels Christmas Day Swim
8 December 2014 1547 Views No comments

Every year, people have lined Brighton's beach to take the traditional dip in the sea on Christmas Day. However, this year the event has been cancelled amid health and safety fears.

The Argus reports that Brighton and Hove City Council will be shutting areas of the beach to try and stop people from taking part in the annual event. Concerns have been raised that the event could lead to incidents such as those experienced in previous years and recent months as a result of the rough water.

The council met with members of the Brighton Swimming Club, which has organised the Christmas Day swim for a number of decades.

Margaret Tuppen, president of the swimming club, told the news provider: “It is a shame to break tradition and I do moan about health and safety sometimes, but the conclusion of the meeting was that it can be quite dangerous, especially when drink is involved.

“If it means a tragedy is prevented, then we support the decision.”

Areas of the beach were shut last Christmas by the council, but people were not stopped when it came to going in the water via other areas of the beach. According to Ms Tuppen, those who went into the water regardless of the council shutting areas of the seafront were not members of the swimming club.

She said that people need to be aware of the dangers. As well as possible rough waters, the temperature of the sea will be very low, which can be dangerous if people aren't used to it. The fact that alcohol could be involved was also highlighted as being dangerous, Ms Tuppen continued.

While Brighton RNLI doesn't condone cold water swimming when under the influence of alcohol, operations manager Roger Cohen told the news reporter that the lifeboats would be on hand to lend assistance should anyone ignore the council's warnings.

Swimming in very cold temperatures is not recommended, especially if the water is rough, as it can be painful and result in difficulty of movement. If there is not an official event in your area that is attended by professionals and lifeguards, it is recommended that you stay out of the water over the Christmas period.