Lifesavers have urged people not to take a festive dip without safety cover in place.

It comes as RNLI supporters announced they would not be present at the Charmouth Christmas Day Swim this year.

Although the RNLI does not actually organise the event, members of the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Supporters group usually attend as it is a big fundraiser for the charity.

The lifeboat crew also attend to keep an eye on participants.

Without any official RNLI involvement however the lifeboat would only respond in the event of an emergency.

It is not clear at this stage whether the swim will still go ahead – but an RNLI spokesman said: "We would recommend that people do not go in the water without safety cover."

A spokesman for the supporters group said: “Because of the distancing restrictions and general safety issues which will almost certainly still be in place, the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Supporters will not be fundraising at the Charmouth Christmas Day swim this year.

“Throughout these difficult times the RNLI’s priorities have been the effective delivery of a lifesaving service and the welfare of our volunteer crew members. Sadly, this means our crew and fundraisers will not be supporting the Charmouth Christmas Day swim this year.

“The crew does, of course, remain on stand-by for calls for assistance from anyone in difficulty at sea.

“So far this year the RNLI volunteers in Lyme Regis have answered 41 calls for help.”

The News has previously reported that the Lyme Lunge on New Year's Day has been cancelled due to the pandemic while no decision has yet been made about Boxing Day's West Bay Wallow.