VIDEO: Littlehampton divers’ leap of faith for worthy causes

BRAVE fundraisers in Littlehampton have once again been taking the plunge to help needy causes in the area.

Hundreds of people lined the banks of the River Arun, near the red pedestrian bridge, to watch the annual Littlehampton Leap, on Sunday (January 19).

Simon Marks and Theresa Gurney  L03554H14

Simon Marks and Theresa Gurney L03554H14

The event had already experienced a turbulent start to the year, having been postponed a couple of weeks before due to the atrocious weather.

However, this weekend’s spectacle, organised by the Arun Divers, could not have been any different. Blissful sunshine and calm waters helped to attract about 30 divers to the leap – which raised about £2,600 for the Littlehampton Sea Cadets.

Gary Moore, chairman of the Arun Divers, said the event was one of their greatest yet.

“I was really pleased with the turn out,” he explained. “We were really lucky with the weather after the event was postponed because of the storms.

Paul Mills takes the plunge    L03564H14

Paul Mills takes the plunge L03564H14

“I was worried that because of the postponement people may not have been able to make it down. But it was a really great day.”

Many of those taking part were wearing fancy dress, from various superheroes and villains, to a ship’s captain and even a grey elephant.

Youngsters from the Littlehampton Sea Cadet band provided the music for the occasion, while the staff at the Arun View pub offered a place for the divers to warm up and get changed.

Gary added the money raised at this year’s leap was at the upper end of the scale.

Some of the jumpers from this year's Littlehampton Leap    L03557H14

Some of the jumpers from this year's Littlehampton Leap L03557H14

He said: “It’s such a silly thing for people to do. That’s why people support it year after year.”

The event has been running for more than 30 years.

Initially, it was organised as a fundraiser to help those affected by the Penlee lifeboat disaster, in December, 1981.

However, now the leap has been instrumental in supporting dozens of local charities, with organisers estimating that it has generated more than £70,000 during its history.

Gary wished to thank all those who helped during the day.

For more details about the Arun Divers, see here