March 10, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea's Stert Island Swim won't return this summer

Hopes that Burnham-On-Sea's Stert Island Swim would return this summer have been dashed this week after organisers said the event will not go ahead.

The long-running event, in which 60 people swam between Burnham-On-Sea and Stert Island, had taken place each summer for many years until last year. But insurance concerns prompted by a poor EU sea water quality survey led to its cancellation.

Celia Miall from West Country Triathletes told this week: "Sadly, no one has come forward to organise the swim."

"The club haven't ruled it out as a possibility next year but this year is off, which is a shame."

The 2017 swim had been 'pencilled in' to take place on August 27th, the same day as Burnham-On-Sea's annual seafront rescue services day, which will go ahead as normal.

Burnham’s bathing water quality was given a 'poor' rating in the latest survey under stricter new EU bathing water standards.

A spokesman from the triathletes club previously said: "Since swimming in the sea will not be recommended, we don't feel it would be right to encourage people to take part in this event. We feel it would be too much of a risk to host the event as any insurance would be invalidated."

The Stert Island Swim originally started in 1915 but was not held for 40 years after 1960. The modern event has been running for 15 years, having been re-introduced in the year 2000.

Wessex Water is spending £39million on a programme of work to improve the sea water quality in Burnham-On-Sea, working alongside other groups including local councils and the Environment Agency.


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