Husband and wife take to water ahead of Bristol Harbour swimming pilot

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Two people have taken to the cold waters of Bristol Harbour for the first time since the council announced it was temporarily lifting a ban on swimming.

Husband and wife David, 59, and Karen Quartermain, 48, went swimming in Baltic Wharf on Tuesday ahead of a five-week pilot which is due to begin in April.

Bristol City Council previously announced the trial, which will see members of the public paying to take a dip each weekend it is running.

They will swim in a designated area with a pontoon, lifeguards, safety boats and regular water quality sampling.

Each hour-long session, for up to 80 people, will cost £7 and take place in a 200-metre course.

Bristol Harbour swim pilot trial
Swimmers David and Karen Quartermain wave to the shore as they enter the water in Bristol Harbour (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Councillor Ellie King, cabinet member for public health and communities, said the water would be tested ahead of the pilot sessions taking place.

“This is the cleanest part of the harbour and the water is regularly tested, we do it weekly, Ms King said.

“We’ve done everything to keep the price as low as possible.

“It will pay for lifeguards, safety boats, the course to be set out and the changing facilities.

“We’re expecting this to be fully booked up for the pilot.”

Bristol Harbour swim pilot trial
David and Karen Quartermain went swimming in Baltic Wharf, Bristol, ahead of the pilot beginning in April (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Speaking after taking a swim in the water, which they estimated to be between 9 and 10C, Mr and Mrs Quartermain said they were keen to return.

The couple, who are highly experienced swimmers, described the scenery – with Bristol’s famous coloured houses in the background – as “beautiful”.

Mr Quartermain said: “It’s such a great spot to swim.

“The backdrop with the houses is beautiful.

“I’m on a natural high, that was great, it was a real privilege.”

Mrs Quartermain added: “It was really refreshing. The water actually tasted nice.”

The pilot will begin on April 28 and last until May 28.

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