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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Dip off Minster Leas by members of Rochester Swimming and Lifeguard Club is last one after 53 years

01 January 2014
by Emma Grove
Rochester Swimming Club and Lifeguard Club's annual arctic swim

Rochester Swimming Club and Lifeguard Club's annual arctic swim

It was with a hint of sadness at the end of an era that people braved the chilly winter waters for an annual arctic swim.

Ten members of Rochester Swimming and Lifeguard Club took to the sea off Minster Leas for the 53rd time on Sunday watched by an audience of about 30 spectators.

It was the last time the group would be doing it as they no longer provide the life-saving service along the seafront as the RNLI has taken it over.

The water temperature was measured at 2C and to successfully complete it, participants had to take at least three strokes in the water – which they all did.

Most of them were submerged for about a minute, before rushing back out to warm up with hot soup and drinks.

The youngest swimmer was 13-year-old Anastasia Smith from Medway.

As it was the last time, the club members held a minute silence before going into the water in memory of people involved in life-saving who have passed away, including volunteer Tony Boosey.

Life-saving coach Paul Paulding said: “It’s the end of an era and it is a shame. But it was good fun and the swim does reinvigorate you.

“We also had a cake afterwards which a club member had made and it was fantastic.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part and supported us – this year and over all the many years.”

Swale council, which was in charge of the life-saving service before the RNLI took it over, is looking at alternative uses for the hut which the club was based at.

The charity has its own hut.

For more photos, see this week's Sheerness Times Guardian.

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