Thanet Lifeguard Club took to Westbrook Beach in Kent for their annual winter swim on 29 December 2013. It was a chilly day to take to the water with an air temperature of 4°C and a water temperature of 6°C.

Find out how the swim went in the below guest blog from Neil Morgan, a member of Thanet Lifeguard Club.

The day proved perfect, sunshine, waves lapping the shore and coasters taking in the sea air). Our meet time was planned for 10.00am in the clubhouse but enthusiastic members were turning up well before, little did they know what was in store!

West Kent Lifesavers once again graced us with their presence, returning for more punishment (fourth year on the trot), and a couple of past members now residing in Australia and New Zealand felt the lure of cooler waters too irresistible! The usual festive greetings were circulated as well as a safety brief. Then, the flock were shepherded to the beach. In true tradition, a flurry of bodies eagerly changed into their costumes (no wetsuits here!) and gathered on the sand for photos. Then off into sea! “Ooh, aah, ooooh, aaaah, that’s cold,” came one remark, before the person disappeared under the water and began their swim. Twenty nine gallant souls ran head long into chilly waters, a few managed a swim of twenty metres plus. Others were quite happy to just submerge under the water.  Those who were not so brave came out quickly but after assessing the accomplishment of others, took a deep breath and re-entered the water, completely submerging themselves.

After the pinkie-blue bodied swimmers had changed in the warm comfort of the clubhouse, well deserved hot beverages and snacks were served. Presentation medals were also awarded to all by the club Chairman.

A fun morning was had by all and talks of next year’s swim are already being discussed.

A big thank you to all members, family, friends and supporters who took part – or just came to enjoy the spectacle.

If you took part in an organised open swim or have any upcoming open water events, then we would love to hear from you. Email [email protected] with your story.