People enjoy rough seas for Brighton Christmas Day swim Brighton News

Dozens of people gathered this morning between the Palace Pier and old West Pier in Brighton for the longstanding tradition, which was first started by Brighton Swimming Club in 1860.

Despite safety advice urging people to “think twice” about entering the rough seas, around 50 people enjoyed the festive dip while family and friends watched on from the shoreline.

Aaron Wilde, 53, from London, said it was a great atmosphere on the seafront but described the conditions as “scary” at times.

The Argus: Aaron Wilde ready to brave Brighton's stormy sea this morningAaron Wilde ready to brave Brighton’s stormy sea this morning (Image: The Argus)

He said: “It was wonderful. I really like swimming in the sea when it’s choppy, but not quite this choppy.

“This was a wall of water at times and a little bit scary.

“I wasn’t going to take much of a risk.

“I’m a cold shower kind of guy so I’m kind of up for this – and it’s the first time I’ve ever done the swim in Brighton.

“The atmosphere down there once you’re in the sea is great. I want to do it again next year, I’m totally hooked into this.”

The Argus: Other people opted to watch from dry land due to the rough conditionsOther people opted to watch from dry land due to the rough conditions (Image: Supplied)

One bystander went with their family to enjoy the beach but decided not to get in the water.

She said: “There were seven foot waves smashing against the beach.

“At 11am about 50 people ran in but it was very rough. There were coastguard type people at the top of the beach saying ‘go in at your own risk’.

“I heard this guy who said he was a surfer, he said even for him it was quite hard to get out and he helped pull someone out.

“People enjoyed themselves but it was on the verge of being too dangerous.”

The Argus: People were in good spirits as they braved the watersPeople were in good spirits as they braved the waters (Image: The Argus)

Brighton and Hove City Council advised last week that there would be no lifeguard services and said swimmers should be careful traversing the “steep shingle slope” on Brighton beach when getting out of the sea.

Archie Mullins, 21, who is studying economics at Durham, comes down every year to see his family.

He said: “I only go swimming on Christmas because everyone goes, so it’s an excuse to go sea swimming.

“You just need to not be silly with it. Once you’re in it’s not too bad.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-25 13:15:00

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