Brighton resident to take on nude swimming challenge to raise funds for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

An intrepid sea swimmer has decided to swim in the Channel from Brighton naturist beach every day between September and New Year – wearing nothing but gloves and socks.

A picture of Phil Pool with the sea in the background

RNLI/PhilPool

Phil Pool who is raising money for the RNLI

Father of two Phil Pool, 55, has been inspired by the RNLI’s vital work in Brighton particularly as they are a regular sea swimmer, and so came up with the idea for this fundraising challenge.

Phil said: “I've never needed to use the RNLI. I'm a cautious swimmer, rarely going far out of my depth but I have seen the work that they do and they are an amazing charity.

“So far, I've managed to swim every day that I've been able to. I won't swim if it's too rough or I'm unavoidably too far from the sea or a suitable river.

“I've done some cold water swimming before, so I know that it's possible to acclimatise, but it's still quite daunting. I don't mind the sea being cold; it's the time spent getting changed, with the strong, cold, winds we get in Brighton that is the real challenge.”

Phil’s plan is to swim off Brighton’s naturist beach – the oldest official naturist beach in the UK – every day until New Year.

Phil, who has lived in Brighton for 20 years and works to make transport more accessible for disabled people, has overcome three spine operations as well as operations on their wrists, elbows and one knee but uses swimming to keep physically and mentally fit.

Lifeboat operations manager for Brighton Roger Cohen said: “Our volunteer crew are grateful for Phil’s support and know they are taking sensible precautions in terms of weather conditions when deciding if they can safely swim each day.

“It’s really important to acclimatise to cold water slowly and enter gradually to reduce the risk of cold water shock.

“Also please do always tell someone what your plans are and when you will be back.

“We have a well-established sea swimming community across Brighton and Hove who are aware of how to have fun safely, but it is important to reiterate these messages as we head into the colder months.”

Phil has already raised £350 to support the crew's work. Please visit this Just Giving link www.justgiving.com/fundraising/phil-pool

Notes to editors

· Further information and tips on open water and sea swimming are available on the RNLI website

· For more information please contact volunteer lifeboat press officer Hatti Mellor on 07724801305 or the regional media officer Paul Dunt on 07785 296252.

· Brighton RNLI inshore lifeboat Random Harvest provides 24/7 on call search and rescue service along the Sussex coastline between Newhaven and Shoreham.

· Phil’s pronouns are they/them.

· Key facts about the RNLI: 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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.

A picture of Brighton in shore lifeboat, Random Harvest

RNLI

Random Harvest

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.