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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 20:05 GMT
Cold water poured on Christmas dip
Swimmers at Lowestoft beach
Swimmers brave the icy waters for "a few minutes"
A traditional Christmas Day swimming event has been called off due to rising insurance costs.

Organisers of the charity fund-raising dip at Lowestoft beach in Suffolk say insurers demanded 1200 to back this year's swim.

The event, which has been run for 25 years, usually attracts thousands of spectators.

Organiser Lawrence Chapman said: "It's totally ridiculous that it can't go ahead."

Icy waters

He said "all reasonable precautions" were taken each year, with lifeguards and first-aiders on hand.

"We're not out there for very long - a few minutes, then we're back into the warm," he said.

The event was due to raise money for seven mainly local charities.

Further along the coast, Felixstowe's Boxing Day dip has also been cancelled, though not for insurance reasons.

East Anglian swimmers keen to take the plunge on Christmas Day can join events in Hunstanton in Norfolk or Clacton in Essex instead.

Mr Chapman said he hoped swimmers would be welcomed back to Lowestoft next year.


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