New Year’s Day dip cancelled

SWIM People braving Stokes Bay in Gosport on January 1 this year
SWIM People braving Stokes Bay in Gosport on January 1 this year
Devida Bushrod (front) with (l-r) Maddy Bushrod (13),  Devida's husband Jason, Mark Loudon (nine), mum Sarah Loudon, Ruth Loudon (10), and Angela Kerfoot. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171556-1)

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A REGULAR New Year’s Day dip in Stokes Bay has been cancelled due to bad weather.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service’s annual swim attracts hundreds of costumed revellers.

It is the first time it has been cancelled in 30 years.

But forecasts show 35mph to 55mph winds are due to hit at 12pm tomorrow and organisers have safety concerns.

Gafirs chairman Keith Thomas said: ‘We’re asking the public to steer clear of the water because of the sea conditions and the wind.

‘We do regret very much it has to be cancelled but safety is vital.

‘The waves will be very heavy and the wind is coming from the south east, so it will be dropping quite heavy large waves on to the beach and the slipway.

‘The danger is people might get blown over in the surf.

‘I’ve been a member for 14 years and I can’t think of having to cancel it before.’

The event has been running for around 30 years and was due to start at 12pm tomorrow.

Last year more than 300 people took part and 33 charities raised cash on the day.

It is unlikely to be rescheduled for later this year.