December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
A group of 45 intrepid adventurers will this weekend take a Suffolk wild swimming challenge up the River Deben.
The Big Deben Swim is 10km from Felixstowe Ferry to Waldringfield, and swimmers are expected to be in the water for up to three hours.
Wetsuits are a must, and swimmers had to demonstrate their open water swimming competency before being given a place.
Sunday’s event is the fourth annual swim and aims to encourage more people to enjoy the beautiful River Deben as well as support the Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP) in its efforts to maintain the river for future generations. Swimmers from across the country applied to take part in the event, which is also promoting open water swimming as an accessible and healthy form of exercise.
The swim is not a race, and swimmers set off from 7.30am in groups of between six and ten, dependent on their ability, with support canoes and a medic alongside.
Simon Rudland, the Big Deben Swim event founder, said: “The event has a serious objective, focused on raising awareness and supporting the Deben Estuary Partnership. The DEP aims to safeguard the Deben estuary from degradation by creating management partnerships of all the interested parties, particularly local communities, working together so that future generations may continue to benefit.
“However, for me and the swimmers, it’s also about local people who care passionately for their local environment taking action to help protect it.”
The swim has raised significant funds to support the DEP and been helped hugely by support from Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.