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| December 14, 2018

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Council Pour Cold Water on Christmas Day Swim

Christmas Day Swim
Pete Humphreys

Seafront Officers are once again urging residents and visitors to stay away from the sea this Christmas, fearful that people may endanger their lives.

The council will be closing access to the beaches around Brighton Pier on 25 December to discourage those planning on going for the traditional Christmas Day swim.

Seafront Operations Manager Chris Ingall explained: “Sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers and should only be for the very experienced, using suitable wetsuits, in very calm conditions and with a friend,”

“Even on a calm day sea currents, undertow or a sudden change in weather can create life threatening hazards without warning. Even experienced swimmers can get caught out.”

Christmas Day Swimmer

A man emerges from a Christmas Day dip in Brighton

People have been taking to Brighton’s shore for a Christmas Day swim for over 150 years, but in recent years the event has attracted more and more inexperienced sea swimmers.

Since 2014 the Council has been actively discouraging the event.

A council spokesperson warned the public to be careful around the sea throughout the winter:

“The continuing mild weather has meant that, as with last year, the seafront has been much busier than in previous winters. It’s been great to see so many people enjoying a stroll on the promenade and its good news for seafront businesses, but we would ask people to stay on the path or high up on the beach, especially when the sea conditions are rough.

“Please keep a close eye on children and hold their hand when on the beach.  Do not allow children to play ‘chicken’ with the surf washing up the beach – we see this regularly on big winter surf days and this is precisely how people become washed out to sea.  Parents need to take greater responsibility and keep little ones close at all times when visiting the beach.”

Dog owners are also advised to keep their pets on leads and away from the shoreline.

Photo: Tams (Flickr)

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