Hardy swimmers brave the cold

A GROUP of hardy swimmers braved the cold North Sea for a charity event at Aldeburgh.A total of 14 people took the plunge on Christmas morning for the popular annual event, which has raised a total of nearly £14,000 for charity over the years.

A GROUP of hardy swimmers braved the cold North Sea for a charity event at Aldeburgh.

A total of 14 people took the plunge on Christmas morning for the popular annual event, which has raised a total of nearly £14,000 for charity over the years.

Crowds gathered to watch them brave the cold temperatures before their Christmas lunch.

The swim, which has been running for the last 14 years, was started by Leiston GP Dr Kev Hopayian, who was raising funds this year for two charities – Aid Armenia and Medecins Sans Frontieres.


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Among those taking part was Karen Ehlert, 47, of Sandy Lane, Iken.

The consultant clinical neuropsychologist developed breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body, but has made a good recovery after taking a new tablet called Xeloda to treat her illness.

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It is too early to say yet how much this year's dip will have raised, but Dr Hopayian was pleased with the turnout.

"The water seemed a bit colder this year than last year - I think we all felt that – so the two minutes seemed to last a bit longer as a result," he said.

Miss Ehlert, who was taking her first Christmas dip, said it was "not too bad".

"Not as bad as I expected, although my feet are chilly to say the least," she said.

Further up the coast of Suffolk 150 swimmers took a dip as part of the Lowestoft Charity Swim.

Louise Hart, 25, from Blundeston, has taken the plunge for four years running.

Miss Hart, dressed as a fairy, said: "The atmosphere is fantastic and I just love going in."

Margaret Rogers, 42, and Mel Compton, 46, from Lowestoft, said their Christmas tree and penguin costumes had helped keep the bitterness at bay.

Charities to benefit included Lowestoft and Waveney Alzheimers, Lowestoft Live Arts, Bungay Young Mums and Links Club centre for the handicapped. Swimmers could also nominate their own good cause.

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