Southwold swim problems May 26th 2013

The annual Southwold Pier to Pub swim nearly went horribly wrong this year, when a late start meant that the swimmers found themselves swimming against a tide so strong that they were swept in the wrong direction, and many were trapped for as long as an hour and a half in extremely cold water, awaiting rescue.

Rescue Sea King helicopter over Southwold Pier

RNLI and coastguards at Southwold swim

Rescue Sea King helicopter with Southwold lifeguards searching for swimmers

Lifeboat at the Southwold swim Sunday 26th May 2013

Out of 133 entrants who paid £15 each to take part, only 20 reached the finish, and Southwold lifeboat rescued 58 people, whilst the Sea King Rescue helicopter had to take one swimmer to hospital suffering from suspected hypothermia. Lifeboats from other areas also assisted in the search for swimmers, all of whom were finally accounted for that afternoon.

Rescue Sea King helicopter over Southwold Pier saving swimmers

Acknowledgements to EADT, and Simon Parker for the photographs