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.
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
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