Brighton Council warns of dangers at sea ahead of Christmas swim

Beachgoers are being warned to stay safe in the sea as some prepare for an annual Christmas Day swim.

Swimmers have been advised to understand the dangers of the sea before entering the water for fear of their safety.

The warning comes as open water swimming has grown in popularity in recent years, with more and more people taking part in a celebratory sea swim as an annual tradition.

Fabian Bull, Coastal Officer for Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “As open water swimming has grown in popularity in recent years we are seeing more and more groups of swimmers gathering for winter swimming.

“We realize that people will be thinking about a Christmas slump this year, but it is extremely important that those looking to enjoy this invigorating and extreme form of free and healthy activity understand the real dangers involved.

“Cold water sea swimming requires skill, endurance and an awareness of the physical hazards and should only be for very experienced individuals with appropriate wetsuits in very calm conditions and with friends.”

The Argus: Christmas swimmers enjoy a festive swimChristmas swimmers enjoy a festive swim

Visitors to Brighton and Hove beaches are advised to stay close to the beach on the paths or stay up on the beach rather than venturing near the water.

The council has also reiterated that there is no lifeguard service on the beach during the winter months.

Unlike many other beaches where you can gradually enter the water, Brighton & Hove beach has a steep shingle slope which makes it difficult to enter and exit the water, particularly during the four hour high tide period.

Mr Bull added: “The combination of strong winds and steep shingle bars increases the risk of being swept out to sea. Check the conditions that day and remember everyone in the group, the sea will be there tomorrow, don’t take unnecessary risks that could endanger your life or others trying to help.”

Brighton Beach attracts large numbers of sea swimmers each year, including those who dress up to enter the water. Brighton Council warns of dangers at sea ahead of Christmas swim

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