HUNDREDS of people took to the open water for the annual Pier to Pier swim off Bournemouth Beach yesterday.

It was near perfect conditions for the annual event, which this year attracted more participants than ever before.

The event, held to support the British Heart Foundation (BHF), included two swims - both setting off from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier.

BHF event organiser Andy Coles told the Daily Echo: “This swim has already raised £220,000 for the charity, which will enable us to continue with our life-saving work.

“The conditions today are excellent, the water is calm and we’ve been supported amazingly.”

The 1.4 mile course ran parallel to the beach, and was fully marshalled, with lifeguards in the sea and along the sand.

First aid cover was also provided by volunteers from the St John’s Ambulance.

See tomorrow’s Daily Echo for the full story and for more pictures