Swimmers raise money for charity in New Year’s dip

The group of swimmers
The group of swimmers

SWIMMERS braved freezing temperatures on Tuesday by taking part in their annual New Year’s Day paddle for charity.

On a crisp clear morning the intrepid band of 17 swimmers plunged into the sea at the Hastings Harbour Arm.

Watched by a crowd of supporters the team swam for a minimum of one minute and then emerged to applause and praise.

Online sponsorship and cash on the day raised a total of £350 for the local Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The group has undertaken the charity swim on New Year’s Day for several years in a row, raising hundreds of pounds for good causes.

Ann Novotny, 74, who took part, said: “Every year we gain a few new converts to the swim – there is no better way to start the New Year than to enjoy the invigorating stimulus of a dip in the English Channel. Once you’ve signed up your sponsorship there’s no question of not going in.

“If the seas had been too rough to safely swim we had buckets at the ready to fill from the sea and to splash each other with briny water to satisfy our sponsors and supporters.”

Another group of several swimmers took part in their own separate charity dip on Tuesday, raising £856 for St Michael’s Hospice. The event, organised by Ian Ashley-Smith, from Heringtons Solicitors, was supposed to take place on Christmas Day but organisers postponed it until New Year’s Day because of bad weather.