WITH PICTURES Record turn-out for Christmas Day swim

Dorset Echo: WITH PICTURES Record turn-out for Christmas Day swim WITH PICTURES Record turn-out for Christmas Day swim

A RECORD number of swimmers made a Christmas Day splash for charity.

The weather stayed kind as a total of 249 people took the plunge in the annual cross-harbour swim The popular event organised by the Weymouth and Portland Lions Club began more than 20 years ago.

Every year hundreds of people brave the chilly weather to raise cash for good causes in everything from Speedos to wetsuits, and dozens donned fancy dress for this year’s event.

Thousands of spectators lined the harbourside to cheer the swimmers on.

They included Dick Mallison who was taking part in his 28th cross-harbour swim.

Also among those taking the plunge were Jake Forkbender, Sam Ruddick, Matt Sturmey and Chantelle Oetegenn from Marks & Spencer in Weymouth raised over £500 in sponsorship for Weymouth RNLI lifeboat.

Mark Lockie of the Weymouth and Portland Lions Club said: “Thankfully the weather held off and it was another great turn out.

“We had a record number of swimmers, 249 in total, and we had five separate swims with roughly 50 at a time taking the plunge.”

Mr Lockie said hat participants had raised around £10,000 for charity and that the Lions’ collection on the day and entry fees would make another £2,000.

He said: “As well as being a great spectacle in raises money for local causes.”

Mr Lockie said he would like to thank Weymouth Canoe Lifeguards, the Harbourmaster, MV Freedom, Coastline Cruises, Pontoon Works and the Old Rooms pub for their support and help on the day.

 

See tomorrow's Echo for a full report and more pictures.

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