Newhaven Lifeboat applauds open water Mermaids' generosity

Lifeboats News Release

Marking the start of another winter of chilly dips, Seaford’s all-year-round open water swimming collective The Seaford Mermaids has rallied once again to raise critical funds for the RNLI and their local lifeboat station, RNLI Newhaven.

Ash Head, Seaford Mermaid

Safety in numbers for Seaford Mermaids dawn dips
The Seaford Mermaids are a free-spirited and safety conscious group of open water swimmers. A detailed daily forecast, shared via their WhatsApp group of over 230 swimmers-strong, lies at the heart of their vigour.

Last year, to support the lifeboat charity whose help they hope they will never need, the Mermaids raised, in less than a week, a staggering sum that exceeded £12,000. This effort set a precedent to annually support “our friend Newhaven Lifeboat” says founder Ruth Rose, whose daily dip attracted others to join her some fourteen years ago.

The forecasts are compiled daily by Ruth Rose and her fellow forecasters. They include temperature, tide and sea state information, as well as local hazards to beware of, such as rips and currents and the safest place and time to take a dip in Seaford that day. The Mermaids ethos promotes fun and safety in numbers.

Jane Masey, RNLI Newhaven Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority and Seaford Mermaid 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 earlier this year, 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 appeal to save every one. 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

Notes for the Editor
Published background:
- a swim with the Mermaids feature: ‘RNLI Meet the Mermaids’ https://rnli.org/magazine/magazine-featured-list/2021/may/swimming-with-mermaids
- a previous fund raising effort press release: https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2020/november/20/seaford-mermaids-fundraising-splash-for-newhaven-rn...
Safety advice: Before you hit the water, here are the RNLI’s top safety tips for open water swimming:
- Never swim alone. The safest way to wild swim is at an Open Water swimming site, with a club or between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach. If you can’t get to a lifeguarded beach, learn more about your chosen location and check hazard signage.
- Tell people where you have gone and when you expect to be back.
- Find an organised swim group in your local community.
- Acclimatise to cold water slowly and enter gradually to reduce the risk of cold water shock. A wetsuit will help you keep warm, especially if you're new to open water swimming.
- Check weather and tide times before you go, avoid swimming in dangerous conditions.
- Take a means for calling for help in a waterproof phone pouch and have this on you at all times.
- If you see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
- Wear a brightly coloured hat plus a tow float for increased visibility.
- Always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out. Cold water, waves and currents can tire you out quickly and make it harder to return to shore.
- Never swim under the influence of alcohol.
- If you find yourself in trouble in the water, you can help yourself get back to safety by floating on your back like a star.
Social media tags: @newhavenlifeboat @rnli #newhaven #seaford #rnli #lifeboats #volunteers #savinglivesatsea #tosaveeveryone #rnlichristmasappeal #saveeveryone #watersafety #floattolive #respectthewater #openwaterswimming #seaswimming

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or Rosalind_Ashton@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Newhaven social media
Twitter: @NewhavenRNLI
Instagram: newhavenlifeboat
Facebook: @newhaven.lifeboat

RNLI/Rosalind Ashton

Mermaids wear neoprene hats, gloves and booties for chilly dawn swim, Seaford Bay

RNLI/Lewis Arnold

Seaford Mermaids on a November dawn swim

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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