JUST a tiny three letter word proved the perfect gift for one devoted couple this Christmas Day - moments before braving icy waters for charity.

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Alex Cable and Sadie Wooltorton made quite a splash at the Felixstowe Dip.

The couple got engaged in front of the throng of hardy swimmers, who were all raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Mr Cable, 27, sporting just in his shorts, got down on one knee on the beach outside Manning’s amusement arcade - much to the delight of the hundreds of spectators.

Miss Wooltorton, 24, accepted his surprise proposal and the couple, from Felixstowe, sealed the engagement with a loving kiss.

Mr Cable, a self employed builder and bricklayer, said: “Sadie had said to do something that she’d like and I thought this seemed like a good idea. I was quite nervous beforehand. I couldn’t be happier that she said ‘yes’.”

Miss Wooltorton, who works in admin for social services, said: “We had talked about getting engaged a little but I never thought he would be mad enough to ask me here! It was a complete surprise. The best Christmas present I could have hoped for.”

It was the second year that the couple had taken part in the Felixstowe Dip.

“We have been fortunate enough never to have had to use the hospice,” Miss Wooltorton added. “But it’s such a massively good cause that we thought, ‘why not make this a family tradition’. It helps so many people and you never know when you might need it. We’re glad it’s there.”

The couple were watched by Miss Wooltorton’s proud nan, Christine Collett, Mr Cable’s mother, Shelly, and his brother Ben, 26, who also took part in the swim.

Mrs Cable said: “ I’m so proud. Not only for them doing the dip but to propose in front of all these people. It was a complete surprise. I heard someone say that someone was going to propose and I thought, ‘what a lovely gesture’. I had no idea it was Alex. I’m delighted.”

Around 450 people took the plunge for this year’s Felixstowe Dip, which raised thousands of pounds for St Elizabeth Hospice and was started by the town’s mayor, Mike Deacon.

Among those taking part were Adrian Baker, 46, from Stowupland, his sister Wendy Wajszwilli, 50, from Ipswich, and their brother Barry Baker, 54, from London.

The siblings, who were doing the fundraiser for the first time, decided to take part in memory of their father, Sidney Baker, who passed away at the hospice in September aged 82.

Adrian said: “It was very bracing, definitely colder than I thought. The hospice were absolutely fantastic and cared for us all very well during dad’s illness. We were only too happy to come out and support them.”

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