The 2010 Christmas Day swim at Emy Lake was a real challenge for everyone as conditions
were extreme and Dan Rogan stated that this was totally different from anything he
ever experienced with the Christmas Day Swim in its history. There was much discussion
about cancelling but then it was obvious that the Swim was more than just a swim
- it was a social occasion on Christmas morning that hundreds had now accepted as
a tradition and they would all miss it. However the ice on the Lake was so thick
that it would need heavy equipment to break and then it would be very difficult for
swimmers with a high risk of lacerations on legs and feet. In the end it was decided
that the tradition would not be broken and that all intended swimmers would tog-out
and have their picture taken on the ice and that this would fulfil their obligation
as it was not their fault that they could not get at the water. As it was and despite
the cold and freezing conditions almost 40 participants braved the ice and the artic
breeze. Paul McGlade, Chairman of the Friends of the Intellectually Disabled, on
behalf of the organising committee thanked everyone for attending, those who helped,
and those who contributed to the fund. He also thanked Castle Leslie who supplied
piping hot and nourishing soup for everyone and Sammy, Mark and Sir Jack were present.
He also thanked the Civil Defence members present and Murphy Video services for recording
the event. A big crowd of spectators turned out again and there was a great buzz
among them but there was little hanging about afterwards as the cold was beginning
to reach places that are normally warm and so it was time to head for the warmth
of home and the Christmas dinner. However anyone who wouldlike to make a donation
to the cause can send it to Dan Rogan, Paul McGade or Donal Kenny.
One little warning - some people were walking out on the ice and skating on it. While
it was 8 inches thick near to the shore it was much thinner in places due to springs
and currents. Danger is lurking there and we exhort and ask people not to take the
chance and stay on solid land. With the extremes of temperature in the water a body
would last less than a minute before hypothermia and drowning occurred. We do not
want that to happen there again.
Keith Murphy broke the ice in one spot but it took muscle to crack a small hole in
the 8 inch thick mass. We must also report sadly that many of the wild ducks, who
have the lake as their habitat, have perished due to the atrocious weather conditions.