Aldeburgh Boxing Day swim to help RNLI centre

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

A record-breaking turnout at the traditional Aldeburgh Boxing Day swim helped raise more than £2,000 for charities and a lifeboat centre in the town targeted in a break-in.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

Around 150 swimmers braved the brisk weather and charged into the North Sea, cheered on by around 500 friends and family members.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

Organiser Mark Fairweather said around £2,000 has been raised so far. Funds will be donated to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and to the RNLI Aldeburgh after a break-in cost an estimated “thousands of pounds” last week.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

A post from the RNLI Aldeburgh Facebook page showed pictures of the centre with a smashed window, with kitchen cupboards and desk drawers having been raided and some damage to the walls.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

The break-in took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning (December 20).

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

Mr Fairweather said: “We usually donate the funds to medical charities, which we have done again this year, but we also wanted to give some money to the RNLI Aldeburgh after the robbery.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant


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“We want them to know that they have the full support of the local community. We felt that we should do something for them.”

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

Reflecting on the record turnout, which followed another impressive turnout at the Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip and others in the region, Mr Fairweather said: “It went brilliantly well. We had around 150 swimmers and around 500 people watching on the beach.

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD

Participants in the annual Aldeburgh Boxing Day Swim. Picture: MIKE SHEPHERD - Credit: Archant

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“I think more people are becoming aware of them. Word gets round and we are slightly better at social media.

“People like taking part. They like the buzz.

“Maybe you do have to be mad, but in a good way. You have got to be brave to take part.

“Everyone who swims are given a Father Christmas hat and a leaflet explaining about the risks of cold water swimming.

“The sea temperature was about 8C (46.4F).”

It is not yet clear what was taken from inside the RNLIA Aldeburgh lifeboat centre or how much the items were worth.

Volunteers have asked anyone who witnessed what happened or has any information which might help police in their investigation to contact 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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