FESTIVE EVENTS: Helensburgh’s New Year’s Day swim is cancelled

The New Year Swim at Rhu Marina has been cancelled to to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Picture by Al Blair

By Democrat reporter

The RNLI organisers of Helensburgh’s New Year’s Day swim have announced that the popular event cannot go ahead as usual this festive season.

The traditional Ne’er’s Day event has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions and the safety risk to swimmers, the public and the volunteer crew.

Hundreds of swimmers usually flock to Rhu Marina on January 1 to take a dip and welcome in the new year, but organisers are urging people to stay away this time.

Simon Fraser, depute launching authority and organiser of the swim said: “This was not an easy decision. We are very disappointed that the event cannot go ahead as usual.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of everyone; the swimmers, their families, the onlookers and our crew members and also adhere to the Scottish Government COovid-19 restrictions and guidelines.

“We are urging the public to stay safe and not come to Rhu Marina on New Year’s Day.”

More than 200 brave swimmers took to the Gareloch on the first day of 2020 as £1,300 was raised for the local RNLI team.

The New Year Swim has been part of the annual events calendar in Helensburgh for almost a century and originally took place at Helensburgh Pier.

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