Hartlepool's Boxing Day Dip is off due to pandemic as emergency services appeal for people to stay away

One of Hartlepool’s biggest annual fundraising events the Boxing Day Dip has fallen victim to the pandemic.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 7:00 am

Organisers Hartlepool Round Table in collaboration with Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat service and HM Coastguard have unfortunately agreed that this year’s dip at Seaton Carew cannot go ahead due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The round table says it has explored all possible options to make the event happen for months but as a responsible event organiser could not ensure the safety of every participant and spectator.

Dippers taking part in last year's Hartlepool Round Table Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool Round Table Chairman Luke Anderson said: "The guys are absolutely gutted, and although it may not come as a surprise that we have cancelled the dip, we have tried, and have looked at every possible way of running it.

"The safety of Hartlepool families is absolutely paramount to us, and its for that reason we have agreed the dip cannot go ahead.”

People are being urged not to put themselves at risk by doing their own dip on Boxing Day.

Hartlepool Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Hornsey said: “Unfortunately this year, we cannot facilitate the safety cover for the Boxing Day dip due to Covid, I understand that you will still want to go ahead and do it, but please for your safety and everybody else’s, please do not go down and do the Boxing Day Dip.”

The dip attracts hundreds of people mingling and all running into the sea at once. Picture by FRANK REID

RNLI crew and Hartlepool Round Table member Jake Oates added: "If you decide to go ahead with your own event, there will be no immediate first aid cover on the beach to assist you, you therefore risk serious injury and possibly worse, not to mention risking the lives of others, simply put, please do not enter the sea on Boxing Day.”

The dip is one of three main charitable Events staged each year by Hartlepool Round Table Calendar along with Hartlepool Beer Festival and the Hartlepool Santa Tour.

The pandemic has led to the cancellation all three events this year with the Round Table putting replacements in place, including the Hartlepool Beer Webstival and Santa Video Calls.

It aims to announce details of a replacement for the dip soon.

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