All are invited to join in the nativity swim, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care, at the Exmouth Christmas Day swim.

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A bearded baby Jesus, giraffe, angels and a host of nativity characters will take the plunge off Exmouth on Christmas day in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Christmas swim virgin Annette Pearson, 49, of Hamilton Road, is organising a nativity swim and is inviting all those already taking part on the day to dress up and raise funds for charity.

She hopes a large group of people will rise to the challenge of the nativity swim – even if it is just turning up in a tea-towel and trunks.

Already signed up to take part is baby Jesus with a beard, a giraffe and angels – but the more the merrier, the funnier the better.

Annette, who ‘hates’ the sea and has never before taken part in the town’s swim tradition, will face her fear of cold water on Christmas Day.

Her nativity swim pledge was inspired by her niece, Angela Bainbridge, who will run the 2014 London Marathon in memory of her mum.

Annette said: “I am absolutely terrified to be honest. I hate the sea.

“I haven’t been in the sea since I’ve lived here. I am a bit like a cat. I don’t like cold water; I won’t even go in a swimming pool. We go and watch it every year but it’s the first time I will be going in.

“But if my niece can run 26 miles, I think I can go in the sea.

“We are asking people to come along and either get sponsorship or chip in £5.”

The nativity swimmers will meet at the Octogan ramp at 10.45am, ready for the 11am countdown.

• Sponsor Annette’s efforts at www.justgiving.com/NativitySwim. For more information about the swim see Macmillan Christmas Nativity Swim Facebook page.

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