Christmas Day swimmers are being advised to “think twice” about taking to the sea over safety fears.

Brighton’s Christmas Day swim is a longstanding tradition in the city and is considered one of the longest-running in the country.

However, the council is cautioning against taking a dip this December adding that swimmers should “fully understand the real dangers involved”.

David Wheeler, Brighton and Hove City Council acting seafront operations manager, said: “As open water swimming has become more popular over the last few years, we are seeing more groups of swimmers gathering for winter swim sessions.

“It's extremely important that those wishing to enjoy this invigorating and extreme form of free and healthy activity, fully understand the real dangers involved.

“Cold water sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers and should only be for the very experienced, using suitable wetsuits, in very calm conditions and with friends.”


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Mr Wheeler added that lifeguard services are not in place in the winter and swimmers should be careful traversing the “steep shingle slope” on Brighton beach.

Brighton and Hove City Council has advised anyone planning to swim over the Christmas period to not swim in clothes and not get in the water if they have been drinking.

Swimmers have also been told to check conditions on the day to make sure swimming is suitable.

More broadly anyone walking on the promenade is advised to stay high up on the beach and hold hands with young children as “large waves can easily knock you over”.

Brighton’s Christmas Day swim has been a tradition dating back as far as the mid-19th century. Some records date back to 1860.

The seafront swim often attracts hundreds of people to take part in the dip.

Brighton’s Christmas Day swim is expected to take place at around 11am.