Record number take the plunge at Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:23 27 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:58 31 December 2018

Sidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7601. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7601. Picture: Terry Ife

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Almost 600 take part in the Boxing Day swim

Sidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7594. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7594. Picture: Terry Ife

A record number took the plunge in the annual Boxing Day swim at Sidmouth this year.

Many of the nearly 600 taking part wore a variety of fancy dress costumes - including a full cast of Mary Poppins, complete with house and chimney pots.

There were many rugby club swimmers who could be seen playing with a ball in the water.

Organisers, in conjunction with the sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth Surf life saving club, made the decision on Boxing Day morning that the festive tradition could go ahead as the weather was favourable.

Sidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7447. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Boxing Day swim. Ref shs 52 18TI 7447. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club provided on-the-water cover, with swimmers restrained to an area 50 metres off the shore. Sailing club members marshalled the beach access to restrict it to swimmers and ensure a clear exit for the cold participants.

The event was free to enter and the Sidmouth branch of the RNLI collected funds and donations will also be made to Sidmouth Lifeboat, the surf lifesaving club and St John Ambulance.

The large number of spectators included celebrity Jeremy Vine who has family locally.

* Participants were able to register at Sidmouth Sailing and Sea Angling Club before braving the sea and were treated to hot mulled wine to warm them up afterwards.

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