Warmer weather could make Lowestoft swim a record-breaker

Lowestoft Christmas Day swim

Lowestoft Christmas Day swim - Credit: Nick Butcher

With the country experiencing its warmest December for 350 years, the organisers of Lowestoft's ever-popular Christmas Day Swim are hoping more people than ever will take the plunge for good causes.

As more than 200 people braved the bracing North Sea temperatures to take part in last year's festive dip, thousands of pounds were raised for charities.

And tomorrow, spectators can expect to see dozens of people donning fancy dress costumes before wading into the water – with registration for swimmers open from 9am to 10am at the Hotel Hatfield.

Sentinel Leisure Centre is once again hosting the swim near the Claremont Pier to raise money for local charities.

Matt Stebbings, the host organiser for the event, said: 'More than 200 application forms have already been sent out, fingers crossed the rain holds off and the sunshine should attract even more people to spectate or participate.'

The town's warmest Christmas Day on record was in 2003 when the mercury soared to 10C (50F) and this year could surpass that.

Mr Stebbings added: 'My colleagues and I have been doing the swim for ten years and the aim is to be first in the water and last out – although it is always a shock to the system.

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'I would like to thank all the volunteers who are giving up their Christmas day mornings to help organise and support the event.'

Lowestoft's Christmas Day swim dates back more than 40 years – with this year's event set to be the town's 39th official swim. The event was saved by the Sentinel Leisure Trust – which runs leisure services in Waveney on behalf of the district council – in 2013.

This will be the third year the trust has organised the swim and the aim is to be bigger and better, following the success of last year's event which raised £8,000 for numerous charities.

This year's beneficiaries will be Access Community Trust, D.I.A.L, East Coast Hospice, Lowestoft Thursday Club, Lowestoft Live Arts, Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum, Brian Gallagher Soccer Fund, Lowestoft Lions, St John Ambulance and Lowestoft Lifeguard Volunteer Corps.

An estimated 1,500 people lined the prom and beach to watch last year's swim as it regularly attracts a fine turnout.

? Applications can be made on the day or in advance by completing the application form via www.waterlanelc.co.uk/xmas-day-swim

? Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk