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Felixstowe: Chilly Christmas Day Dip is most successful ever

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:22 27 December 2012

FESTIVE DIPPERS: Hundreds of hardy swimmers braved the cold and took part in the Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip in aid of the St Elizabeth Hospice.

FESTIVE DIPPERS: Hundreds of hardy swimmers braved the cold and took part in the Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip in aid of the St Elizabeth Hospice.

Archant

WATCHED by his proud grandma, one teenager got his Christmas celebrations off to a chilly start, wading into the sea at Felixstowe to help raise more than £40,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Thirteen-year-old Thomas Boyt, of Shotley Close, was one of more than 500 hardy swimmers who plunged into the icy North Sea on Christmas Day – making this year’s dip the most successful ever.

The Felixstowe Academy student was inspired to take part by his grandmother, Pat Cornforth, 66, who overcame non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009.

Mum Louise, who watched from the warmth of the beach, said her son had “really enjoyed” the swim.

“It was a bit chilly but he really enjoyed taking part. His nan was there to watch too, we were all so proud of him.”

Meanwhile, for one couple, a three-letter word proved the perfect Christmas present.

Dropping on to one knee, Alex Cable proposed to his girlfriend Sadie Wooltorton, in front of the throng of brave swimmers moments before they all rushed into the water.

Mr Cable, 27, a self-employed builder and bricklayer, said: “Sadie had said to do something that she’d like and I thought this seemed like a good idea.

“I was quite nervous beforehand. I couldn’t be happier that she said ‘yes’.”

Miss Wooltorton, 24, who works in admin for social services, added: “It was a complete surprise. The best Christmas present I could have hoped for.”

Speaking at the event, organiser Emily Sullivan said: “We are hugely thankful to everybody who took part today and helped make this year’s Christmas Day dip the most successful ever.

“There’s been a fantastic atmosphere all morning, with everybody really getting into the spirit of the event and enjoying themselves.

“Raising over £40,000 will be a huge help in allowing us to continue growing local hospice care, and we’d like to thank everybody who has sponsored our brave dippers for their generous support.”

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

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