Banna Christmas Day Swim To Return But With Safety Restrictions

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Ladies taking part in the Banna Christmas Day swim in pre-COVID times. Photo: Steve Baker

THE Banna Christmas Day swim will take place this year, but with a few restrictions in recognition of the threat of COVID.

The swim will take place from 12.30pm and organisers say given the current public health advice, Banna Strand is an ideal outdoor venue, with a sizable stretch of pristine beach.

They say swimmers and spectators will be able to practice social-distancing and should feel safe. However, Covid-19 is still forcing the team to make changes to the event.

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“After the swim swimmers and spectators would normally head to the Boathouse to warm up and indulge in some light refreshment and entertainment before Christmas dinner,” said Pa Lawlor, PRO Banna Rescue.

“But this year, indoor activity is not permitted. The boat house will remain closed to members of the public and the changing rooms will be unavailable.”

“Last year, we were very disappointed that we couldn’t host our traditional Christmas Day swim,” said Pa. “It was the first time in 37 years that this important festive community event didn’t take place. The event continues to go from strength to strength, last year’s virtual swim still created a warm community spirit but we are definitely excited to have the physical event back this year.”

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Some swimmers will be taking part for the first time and others will be continuing a family tradition, but whether swimmer or spectator, everyone enjoys the atmosphere.

Swimmers will be sent screaming into the bracing Atlantic seas by Santa not once, twice, but three times and for good measure lifeboat crews will be on hand keeping a watchful eye.

“This is one of the events the crew really look forward to as it highlights the strong community links that the Unit enjoys. We are always grateful for the support we receive both near and far; from the simple words of encouragement to those who champion the Unit within their communities,” said Pa. Donations can also be made on-line at

The safety message at this time remains the same, always follow public health advice and if you or someone is in difficulty, seek help immediately by calling 999 or 112 and asking for the Coastguard.

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