A traditional Boxing Day swim looked like a scene from a horror show on Wednesday as swimmers emerged from the sea covered in blood.

This year saw 370 people - many in fancy dress - enter the chilly water in Sidmouth, Devon.

But as the weather deteriorated, the sea got choppier - pushing a number of the swimmers towards the rocks where they became bloodied and bruised.

boxing day

The Boxing Day swim became bloody

RNLI crews were forced to help out as the swimmers emerged covered in cuts and grazes.

Eve Mathews, who watched the swim, added: "It is a classic Boxing Day event in Sidmouth but some of the swimmers were swept towards the rocks.

"The Inshore Rescue members on the beach went to help, one swam out to assist the first, and others went across the rock groyne to the end.

"The barnacle covered rocks meant the swimmers in difficulty were well-covered by grazes."

The swim, which started in 1985, is used by many as a means of revival from the excesses of food and drink on Christmas Day.

Up until just five years ago just a few dozen took part in the fun - with the number increasing tenfold in recent years.

Organiser Keith Knight said: "A few people had a few scrapes but there were no serious injuries.''

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  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.

  • Rescuers and bystanders help save dozens of swimmers who were swept into rocks during the annual Boxing day swim at Sidmouth, Devon, Decemeber 26 2012. A large number of people were taken unawares by choppy conditions and had to be pulled, dripping with blood, from a rocky groyne.