Banna Christmas Day Swim To Attract Hundreds Again This Year

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PREPARATIONS are well underway for the annual Christmas Day swim at Banna Strand.

It’s a popular local tradition which will see hundreds of hardy swimmers brave the elements on Banna Strand for a quick dip before tucking into the turkey and ham.

“This is our last fundraiser of the year and the one we probably look forward to the most”, explained PRO Pa Lawlor.

“The service is kept afloat by public donations and this is a wonderful opportunity for us express our appreciation for the incredible efforts and support of the community and people who we rely on so heavily”.

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The event has gone from strength to strength and last year the swim drew one of the biggest crowds ever.

“They breed them tough here in Kerry but the weather definitely helps”, laughs Pa.

Some swimmers do it as its now part of the family tradition and some will be taking part for the first time, but whether swimmer or spectator everyone enjoys the craic.

Swimmers will be sent screaming into the bracing Atlantic water by Santa at 12:30 sharp, but will be greeted back ashore with refreshments in the boathouse including hot soup, sandwiches, tea and coffee made by the crew themselves.

It been quite a significant year for Banna Rescue, one of the county’s independent emergency rescue boats (CRBI).

Intensified search and rescue operations have increased the workload on its volunteers and  the importance of the service was recognised earlier in the year as the Unit was crowned overall winners at the Kerry Community Awards.

Preparing for the swim… 

1) Arrive in plenty of time.

2) Wear your swimwear under your clothes, but changing rooms are available.

3) Stay dressed and warm until the last minute.

4) Do NOT dive directly into the water. Wet your face first and gradually lower yourself in.

5) “Get In, Get Out and Warm Up” When the swim is over, get dried off and put on layers of warm clothes and a hat as quickly as possible and get a hot drink of tea, coffee, chocolate or soup.

6) Water Safety Ireland “strongly recommends that no alcohol be taken either before the swim or after the swim”. Alcohol will interfere with the warming up process and can react badly to cold shock .

7) Have a great time and enjoy the atmosphere and craic!

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