The volunteer crew of Newhaven RNLI joined the Seaford Mermaids for a morning dip in the sea today, to celebrate the on-going support of this safety conscious group of open water swimmers.
The Seaford Mermaids are a free-spirited and safety conscious group of open water swimmers. A detailed daily forecast, shared via their WhatsApp groups of over 400 members, provides weather and tide information, suggesting the best time and place to take a dip that day in Seaford bay.
Something of an annual tradition to raise money for the Lifeboat began, following the tragic drowning of a swimmer two years ago at Cuckmere, a swimmer unrelated to the Mermaids that nonetheless garnered their spirit of togetherness.
In response to that human loss, the Mermaids raised a staggering sum that exceeded £12,000 in less than a week. This effort set a precedent to annually support “our friend Newhaven Lifeboat”, says Mermaids founder 89-year-old Ruth Rose, whose daily dip attracted others to join her some fifteen years ago.
Today over £2000 has already been raised for Newhaven RNLI by the swimmers and donations are still rolling in. More than sixty swimmers graced the water in Seaford this morning.
The volunteer crew of Newhaven Lifeboat are grateful to the Mermaids for both their community spirit and RNLI fundraising support, but most of all, value the emphasis the Mermaids place on water safety awareness and the benefits of swimming with others.
Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, says: ‘The Mermaids community embraces everything that is good about wild or open water swimming, including respecting the water by encouraging its members to be aware of the importance of acclimatising to temperature and the associated dangers of cold water shock, the tide, local hazards and most importantly, to never swim alone.’
Amanda Raine, a Seaford Mermaid and donor to the RNLI, who moved to the area just over a year ago, says: ‘I am really grateful to our committed forecasters. They help me feel so much safer swimming all-year and encourage me to get in the sea! Joining The Mermaids, meeting everyone and sea swimming, has nourished my life in so many ways.’
The RNLI have this week launched their Christmas fundraising appeal to help their
lifeboat crews face the cold, rough seas this winter. The appeal features Newhaven Lifeboat volunteers rescueing two paragliders who were cut off by the tide in deep water below the cliff at Peacehaven last Christmas Eve.
Through the generosity of their supporters, the charity can help provide the world-class training, hard-wearing kit, and water safety advice their lifesavers need to keep more people safe. To help give RNLI lifesavers the best possible chance to save every one, make your donation to the RNLI here: https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/give-to-a-special-appeal/christmas-appeal