4:09am Tuesday 25th December 2012
© Press Association 2014
Swimmers hoping to take a Christmas Day dip off Brighton will be disappointed after the council closed the beach because of bad weather.
Brighton and Hove City Council said conditions would be "extremely dangerous" for even experienced swimmers, with winds of up to 30mph, a high tide and a heavy sea swell forecast.
It also said the water would be very cold at this time of year, with a temperature of around five degrees.
Scores of hardy individuals normally take part in the morning event near Brighton Pier, organised by Brighton Swimming Club every year since 1860. Last year it was only open to members of the club because of strong winds.
Council staff will be on the beach from 8.30am to put up signs to inform the public of the temporary closure and give advice regarding the conditions.
Seafront manager Viki Miller said: "It can be tempting to have a splash in the sea at Christmas, but it's absolutely not worth putting yourself at risk.
"Not only could you be caught out by the strong currents, but the sea temperature is extremely cold this time of year.
"We will be monitoring the weather on the day and will be advising people about safety.
"The conditions are already hazardous, with the forecast set to get worse, so as a last resort we will be closing the beach tomorrow. We want people to be able to enjoy the beach, but safety is a top priority."
President of Brighton Swimming Club Margaret Tuppen said: "We are quite happy with the responsible decision the council has made - safety comes first."
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