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Christmas Day Swim 2010.

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.