For yet another year, hundreds of swimmers took to the water to participate in the now annual charity swim at Sliema. This was the 20th edition of the swim organised by the company Thomas Smith to continue the raising of funds for the Community Chest Fund. However, while this annual feat offers the challenge of the cold sea this year there were other challenges that had to be faced.
The day’s weather was described by the participants as the best since the swim was initiated in aid of the MCCF; however, the challenge this year was not the cold weather or sea but an invasion of hundreds of jellyfish along the Balluta Waterfront.
Before the swim started members of the Red Cross and Civil Protection had a hard task in trying to remove as many jellyfish as possible by netting them.
The Red Cross Operational Director, Robert Brincau, said great efforts had been made to make the swim a comfortable one and the team work involved Red Cross members, Civil Protection officials and a number of other helpers.
This year there were 233 participants, the eldest being 82-year-old Wilfred Pirotta who has taken part in every event; however, the youngest swimmer was a two-year-old boy.
Samuel said he had great fun swimming.
His mother Charmaine said Samuel loves the sea even though he is only two years old.
Charmaine said it is customary for them to swim together and this year it was decided that Samuel would join them and in fact this week he had already gone swimming. She said they live in London and when in Malta they take every opportunity to visit the beach.
After the participants took to the water which had a temperature of 14 degrees Celsius they were given a memento by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca who thanked them for having challenged the conditions.
The activity raised €10,000 to be added to the Fondazzjoni Malta Community Chest Fund.