A group of Hornsea ladies have started a sea swimming group to share their passion.
Setting up the group
Claire Keable set up the Hornsea Mermaids group on Facebook after asking if anyone would be interested. In her message Claire said: “I was wondering if anyone knows of a sea swimming group of ladies in Hornsea? I often have a swim on my own but feel I might be motivated to do it more often if I’m part of a group! Or, if there are any like minded sea souls who are in the same position, who might like to join me? Sunrise swimming would be a bonus!”
Claire received over 50 messages of interest and overwhelming support, and the Hornsea Mermaid were created. Claire added: “Once I created the group, the messages just kept pouring in. Stories of ladies up to 74 years old telling me that, especially after a year of lockdown, they felt they needed something positive to do moving forward and something that was for themselves.”
The ladies who have joined the group cover all ages from 18 upwards. With all body shapes and just a shared love of the sea. Claire explained: “Most of the ladies who have joined the group used to swim in the sea at some point in their lives but haven’t done it due a while due to confidence issues or have felt unsafe to do so alone.
“I’ve been swimming in the sea since my grandma used to take me to the coast as a little girl. I’ve always loved the water, there’s something so invigorating and life affirming about swimming in the sea though. It reminds me of being young, free and uninhibited! My favourite time to swim is sunrise or sunset. The changing seascapes are just magical.”
Claire is aware of the mental health benefits of sea swimming. She hopes the group will give ladies the confidence to try it for themselves. “I have lived with fluctuating mental health and have previously struggled with my own body image. Lots of ladies out there feel the same as me” Claire reassured adding: “change can be empowering and hopefully I’m empowering other woman to take back their bodies and say ‘look at me, I’m here, I’m in the sea and I’m awesome!’
“A lot of women have stated that they want to swim but are waiting for warmer weather! The weather doesn’t bother me so much as I like the exhilarating feeling of the cold. I’m sure as time passes more women will find pleasure and discover the benefits of cold water swimming.”
Hornsea Mermaids have their first group swim organised for when restrictions are due to lift on June 21 – midsummer’s day at 4.45am. Caroline Thatcher from the group said: “The summer solstice is my absolute favourite and what better way to celebrate it than a dip in the deep blue.”
Hornsea Inshore Rescue have also supported the group and pointed members in the right direction for safety in the water.