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Thrills and spills at the Camber Dock

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Shivering more than a scared turkey on Christmas morning, a handful of plucky souls changed out of their Christmas jumpers on the Camber Dock quayside and into wetsuits.

Their Boxing Day mission was simple: to pull themselves across the dock’s murkey waters while hanging on a rope that burly divers and fishermen were doing their best to swing, at the same time as dodging water balloons and flour bombs.

It’s a tradition that has been going on for decades, which originally saw the fishermen on the Viviers Fish Market side of the dock compete in a tug of war with divers on the Bridge Tavern side.

The game was over when the last man went head first into the water.

These days it’s a little different. The rope is tied on at both ends, and the aim is to get from one side of the quay to the other without falling off.

It’s an impossible feat, but hundreds of people lined both sides of the dock to watch the Boxing Day morning attempts nonetheless.

David Bailey has been doing the annual challenge for more than 40 years.

He said: ‘We do it because it’s fun, and it’s for a good cause.

‘We’ve always done it.’

Money raised through collecting buckets passed around the crowd will be donated to the RNLI.

 

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