A sea swimmer claims to have found a little piece of the Caribbean off the Sussex coast.

John Kapp has been bemusing passers-by throughout the winter by swimming for up to three-quarters of an hour in just his swimming trunks in what should be icy waters.

But Mr Kapp claims he has found a small stretch of water near to Shoreham power station that is twice the temperature of the surrounding water and hotter than even summer seawater, closer to that of the Caribbean.

He says the stretch of water, which he has dubbed Shoreham Lido, is about the size of a football pitch and about a foot deep with water temperature as high as 20C.

He said: “Even in the summer I never usually spend more than around 15 minutes in the water but I can now stay in the water for up to three quarters of an hour."

Mr Kapp believes the hot water may hold the key to a clean and cheap way to heat the city.

The temperature difference in the water is caused by the water being continuously fed by a hot spring which pumps seven tons of sea water per second from inside Shoreham harbour through the condensers of Shoreham power station.

Mr Kapp, who is secretary of Hove Civic Society (Renewables Infrastructure Group), says the energy used to heat this sea water is more than 300,000 kW and the total energy wasted in 2010 was 2.6 billion kWh per year.

The group are campaigning for the a modification of the system to use the waste heat to heat the radiators of 150,000 homes in the Brighton, Hove and Adur area.

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