South East Wales

Christmas Day sea swimmers in Porthcawl take the plunge

Porthcawl swimmers 2012
Image caption More than 900 swimmers shook off the festive cobwebs at Sandy Bay, Porthcawl

Brave and hardy sea swimmers have taken the plunge into chilly waters at Porthcawl for the annual Christmas Day swim.

More than 900 swimmers shook off the festive cobwebs at Sandy Bay for the 48th anniversary of the charity swim.

Around 2,000 spectators watched people of all ages, some in fancy dress, run down to the shore and dive in.

Among festive swims taking place on Wednesday were ones in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, and Llandudno, Conwy.

The Porthcawl swim reported conditions were "comparatively spring-like" to previous years.

Organiser Ian Stroud said, "The swim is a truly family event with many different generations of the same family taking to the sea and many in fancy dress."

Welsh flag

Image caption Around 600 took part in Tenby's Boxing Day swim

Swimmer Peter Owens, from South Africa, was visiting family in Porthcawl with his sons Thomas, 20, and Jamie, 18.

Mr Owens said: "The two boys were very keen to enter the swim. Every year back at home we always follow the tradition of the Christmas morning swim and carry the Welsh flag to the waters edge.

"Of course, the climate and the sea is much warmer in South Africa."

Chair of the organising committee, Nicola Willis, added: "Once again we have been grateful to all who supported our swim and the number of people who turned up was fantastic.

"Collections are made during carol singing and during the swim. We hope the bucket collections and swimmers sponsorship will help us to make some generous donations in the new year."

The two main beneficiaries of this year's swim were Porthcawl RNLI and the Wales Air Ambulance.

Around 600 people took part in the Tenby Boxing Day swim.

Chris Osborne, who organised the event from North Beach said the turn out was "remarkable".

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