Clevedon Marine Lake cancels 'magical' festive dips
- Credit: Archant
Clevedon Marine Lake has confirmed its annual Boxing Day and New Year's Day charity dips have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The popular event typically sees crowds gather for a swim in the North Somerset attraction's cold waters.
The New Year swim also includes a singalong to Auld Lang Syne.
The festive swims have grown in popularity among both Clevedon residents and people from across the South West.
Outdoor swimming coach Rowan Clarke said: "The New Year dip is magical and it brings a lot of people to the lake who do not swim throughout the year, plus lots of people with hangovers
"Jumping or diving in, or staying in too long puts a huge strain on the body and increases the chance of a medical emergency, which is not fair to put on frontline health workers this year.”
The chairman of Marlens, the charity that looks after the lake, stated that it would not be possible to stage the event without breaking social distancing rules imposed by the Government to deter the spread of Covid-19.
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Joe Norman said: "Not only would social distancing be virtually impossible with crowds of the size we have seen in recent years, but there is also a worry about the potential strain it could put on the emergency services.
“It is a shame to lose these popular events and the chance for the community to come together, but the risk this year would be too great.
"The lake will remain open as a lifeline to so many people who have been swimming throughout this extraordinary year.
"But we ask that if you do visit, you read up on safe cold water swimming first, respect social distancing, and consider contributing to Marlens so that everyone can continue to enjoy the lake in 2021.”
The Clevedon-based charity has been forced to cancel most of its annual fundraisers due to the pandemic and has therefore asked that anyone who planned on visiting the Marine Lake over the festive period, donates instead to cover the annual £20,000 bill it costs the charity to maintain the lake.
Donations can be made by logging on to www.totalgiving.co.uk/charity/marine-lake-enthusiasts-marlens