Stert Island Swim cancelled due to new EU sea water rules
year's Burnham-On-Sea's Stert Island Swim has been axed due to
the EU's new sea water regulations, it has been announced this
to Burnham-On-Sea.com, the organisers said this summer's annual
sea swim will not go ahead due to concerns about insurance caused
by the new rules.
comes after Burnhams bathing water quality was given a 'poor'
rating in the latest survey under the stricter new EU bathing
annual Stert Swim draws big crowds of spectators to the seafront
as part of Burnham's annual emergency services day each August.
organiser Martin Rogers from West Country Triathletes, pictured,
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We had a call from Sedgemoor District
Council this week confirming that the new EU regulations on bathing
water quality mean that the area that we swim in does not meet
the required standards."
swimming in the sea will not be recommended, we don't feel it
would be right to encourage people to take part in our event."
feel it too much of a risk to host the event as any insurance
would be invalidated."
added: "It's a real shame, particularly because the water
quality seems to be improving and has certainly not got any worse.
I have swum in this event each year, so I know."
will abide by the new regulations, though, and will reconsider
holding the event in 2017 if the sea water improves or if we're
no longer in the EU and the sea water regulations return to how
and Highbridge Mayor Michael Clarke said this week he's sad to
hear the news. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com. "This is a terrible
shame and a big disappointment for the town. The Stert Swim always
draws big crowds and attracts a lot of interest."
a lot of work is underway to improve the sea water quality in
Burnham, so I hope the swim will be able to return in the future."
Smout, who represents the Town Council on the bathing water quality
steering group, added: "I am disappointed that this lovely
tradition has been cancelled. Our sea water quality has not got
any worse - this is purely due to the EU's directive on water
standards. That said, I fully understand why the organisers have
made this decision. A lot of work is being done to improve the
recently got a new Coastal Officer, Harriet Yates-Smith, who is
working with the local community to reduce marine and beach litter
in order to try and improve bathing water quality. She is running
a campaign called Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset, a project
led by the Severn Estuary Partnership.
Wessex Water is spending £39million on a programme of work
to improve the sea water quality in Burnham, working alongside
other groups including local councils and the Environment Agency.
Stert Island Swim originally started in 1915 but was not held
for 40 years after 1960. The modern event has beeen running for
16 years, having been re-introduced in the year 2000.