Bloodied Boxing Day swimmers rescued from choppy waters in Devon
Dozens of unlucky Boxing Day swimmers had to be rescued in Devon yesterday after braving the choppy waters in the annual dip and being thrown against the rocks in the sea.
The Daily Telegraph reports that RNLI crews and bystanders rushed to help swimmers in the fancy dress swim in Sidmouth, with many being pulled out of the sea bleeding after being pushed on to barnacle-covered rocks by the water.
Many of the 370 swimmers, who were raising money for their local RNLI branch, emerged shivering and wounded.
Eve Matthews, who watched the swim, told the Daily Mail: 'It is a classic Boxing Day event in Sidmouth and everyone enjoys taking part, but this year the conditions weren't great.
'It was quite choppy. Some of the swimmers were swept towards the rocks.
'The barnacle-covered rocks meant the swimmers in difficulty were well covered by grazes. The Inshore Rescue members on the beach went to help.'
Organiser Keith Knight said: 'A few people had a few scrapes but there were no serious injuries. It went well given the weather, with some having a paddle and others enjoying a swim.'
The Boxing Day swim started in Sidmouth in 1985 and is one of numerous events held across the country. Up until five years ago only a few dozen took part, but there has been a huge increase in swimmers over the years.
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