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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
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First time Christmas Day swimming? Here's some must-read advice...

Braving the waters today? Be careful out there — and never ever drink and swim.

IT USED TO be the preserve of only a hardy few.

But the tradition of the annual Christmas Day swim has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years.

Case in point — the scene at the 40 Foot in, near Dun Laoghaire in Dublin this day last year.

A clear, bright day brought the crowds out in force — and people had to form queues in their swimming togs and Santa hats, before being allowed to hurl themselves into the icy waters…

Source: mrwacman89/YouTube

Similar events are being held at locations all over the country — as sea-swimming veterans and determined newbies line-up to immerse themselves in the frigid depths.

With that in mind, here’s some advice from our friends at Irish Water Safety.

What-ever your experience level — it never hurts to take heed of what the experts have to say…

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

1. If you’re organising a charity swim, make sure to give the details to your local Coast Guard unit or the Gardaí.

2. Appoint a ‘safety officer’ to oversee the event, and who will have the ultimate responsibility for deciding if it swim can go ahead.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

3. Don’t take a chance on running the swim if the weather deteriorates — defer it to a different day.

4. It is a fallacy that alcohol will keep you warm when entering the water; in fact it has the reverse effect and could well kill you. IWS says it “strongly recommends that no alcohol be taken either before the swim or after the swim”.

Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

5. “Make sure you have safe access and exit points from the water”… In other words, don’t thoughtlessly throw yourself into the sea without a plan for how to get out!

6. And the final word of advice: “Swimmers’ remaining in the water for extended periods in a gesture of bravado is not acceptable. The message is ‘Get In, Get Out and Warm Up’.”

Let’s be careful out there…

In pictures: Braving the cold at the 40 foot on Christmas Day

Read: The shipping container house that was built in three days over the weekend 

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