THE uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis is hanging over the future format of Pembrokeshire's biggest curtain-raiser to 2021.

The organisers of Saundersfoot New Year's Day Swim - which sees the village packed with thousands of people - said today (Monday) that they would be monitoring the situation throughout the summer before announcing whether or not to go ahead on January 1.

The event has been running for 36 years, and this year's swim raised nearly £49,000 for charities and good causes.

The organisers recently held an online meeting to discuss the swim and said in a statement: " Due to the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 virus and the many challenges presented when holding a major event, we are very mindful of the health and safety of the swimmers, viewing public and communities at large.

"The NYDS swim has successfully run for 36 years and we pride ourselves on the safety of all those attending.

"During these uncertain, difficult and challenging times it is accepted that people’s safety would be at risk as long as the Covid-19 virus is in existence.

"To this end, we have agreed to monitor the situation and continue to observe national and local government advice as well as continuing to work with Pembrokeshire County Council and emergency services, before making a final announcement as to whether to proceed with the holding of the 2021 event.

"A further announcement will follow on Tuesday 1st September 2020."

A record-breaking turnout of more than 2,000 swimmers took to the water in the most recent event, and the total of £48,896 will help 54 good causes.

NYDS chairman Martyn Williams said: "Our community should be extremely proud of the magnificent sum raised, whether that be from the swimmers and their sponsors, or financial contributions from commercial sponsors and organisations within the locality.

"Thanks, too, go to all the emergency services, safety personnel, stewards, bucket collectors and sponsors who all contributed to make the 36th swim a success.

The 2020 sponsors were Powells Cottage Holidays, 1 Formula Fitness Health & Leisure Club, Broughton Leisure Ltd, Elston Construction, Folly Farm, Harbour Wealth Financial Services, Lewis, Lewis & Co Ltd; Mike Wealleans PVCu Specialist, Neil Finlay Cars, Pembrokeshire Tyres & MOTs, Princes Gate Spring Water, Little & Large Lite Bites, Saundersfoot Pleasure Boats, Scaffold 2000, Sue’s Pantry, Sunnyvale Holiday Park, Sytner Mini BMW, Bysiau Cwm Taf - Taf Valley Coaches; The Silver Lily, NBSM and Elements of Pembrokeshire.

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