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We’re having a dip for air ambulance
SWIMMERS braved ice-cold waters to raise money for charity.
Chalkwell Redcaps, an openwater swimming club founded three years ago, plunged into the sea for their annual Christmas fundraiser.
Customers at the Aches cafes on Western Esplande, Westcliff, watched on in amusement as the group of 20 took to the choppy water despite heavy rain and high winds.
Many were dressed in their swimming costumes, or shorts and a Santa hat to get into the festive spirit.
Claire Calder, who organised the event, said: “It was a fantastic day.
“It really was hammering it down and the sea was very choppy, but that certainly didn’t stop the event taking place.
“It is not only for a good cause, but our members just love open swimming. They do it for fun and bad weather doesn’t phase them at all.”
The annual Christmas splash raised £150 for Essex Air Ambulance, but organisers admitted they were disappointed with the total.
Mrs Calder added: “I’m sure if there were blue skies there would have been a lot more people out and about.
“We were still able to collect money from people at the Arches and a lot of passing cars stopped to put donations in out buckets, so we still had a lot of support.
“Most people seem to think we are mad!”
Chalkwell Lifeguards kept a close eye on the swimmers, and they were all clocked in and out of the water.
Chalkwell Redcaps is open to people of all ages, sizes and backgrounds.
Members range from ten-years-old to 70.
The swimming group was set up to help swimmers improve their skills and bring like-minded people together.
For more information, visit www.chalkwellredcaps.co.uk
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