Gallery: Brave swimmers take festive dip in sea

IT may have been warmer in the sea than on the land - but it certainly didn't feel like it to those taking a Christmas Day dip at Felixstowe.

IT may have been warmer in the sea than on the land - but it certainly didn't feel like it to those taking a Christmas Day dip at Felixstowe.

Thermometers showed the sea was 6C compared to 1C on the beach, but the yelps and screams told a different story.

More than 200 hardy people - a record for the event - took part, charging into the sea in Santa outfits, fancy dress, wet suits and some in just their trunks and bikinis.

The event raised around �36,000 for the St Elizabeth Hospice.


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The beach opposite Charles Manning's Amusement Park, Sea Road, was packed with swimmers' families and supporters and spectators.

All the swimmers received a medal afterwards.

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Mayor Angel Goodwin led the countdown to begin the dash into the sea.

“I have never seen so many people here. I don't know whether they are mad, foolish or brave - they are just all wonderful,” she said.

Hospice chief executive Jane Loughlin said: “It's been absolutely brilliant.

“We have had more than 200 people taking part, twice as many as last year, and there has been a real community spirit.”

Event organiser Patsy Johnson thanked the 20 volunteers who helped run the event, and Morrisons who donated mince pies and mulled wine.

Felixstowe Coastguard Jo Arlow said Thames Coastguard received 11 calls in reaction to the flares set off to start the event.

“I think that's good - it shows people are aware and watching out,” he said.

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