Plastic plesiosaur joins in Swanage Carnival fun in the sun

From a packed beach on the first day of Swanage Carnival, people were able to enjoy the unusual sight of a plesiosaur swimming across the bay.

This wasn’t any old plesiosaur but Percy, who was created out of 600 plastic bottles to raise awareness of the damage that plastic rubbish is doing to our natural environment.

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Plesiosaur and Oly Rush

Oly Rush (left) takes over the tow of Percy the plesiosaur

Beach at Swanage Carnival 2023

A packed beach enjoys watching Percy swim across the bay

Unusual sight in Swanage Bay

The concept was dreamt up by extreme swimmer Oly Rush who is the fastest person to swim around the Isle of Wight and is the only person to have swum around Grand Cayman non-stop.

Oly from Upton in Poole also swam the entire length of the Jurassic Coast in September 2020.

This time Oly along with his team from Project Planet Earth took it in turns to tow Percy across the bay from 7 am to 7 pm on Saturday 29th July 2023.

Plesiosaur and Oly Rush
Milly Haines

Watch out! Percy is after Oly

Plesiosaur and Oly Rush

Oly Rush uses his swimming events to highlight his message about the damaging effects of plastic pollution in our seas

“Real catalyst for change”

Oly said:

“It’s all about trying to make some excitement around what we are doing so people come and ask us questions. Once they see Percy, who’s made out of plastic bottles, we can then show them nurdles – tiny plastic pellets – that end up polluting our beaches and discuss the damage they’re doing to our environment.

“There’s so many problems in the world but tackling plastic pollution can be a real catalyst for change. It’s something we can all realistically do – we can’t all stop driving cars but we can pick up a bit of plastic rubbish.

“By changing our behaviour we can realise that we are part of nature. The word nature is defined as everything that isn’t human, but people have got to work better together with nature and inspire a younger generation to change the way we live.”

We're a knoockout team at Swanage Carnival
Andy Lyons

A first for Swanage Carnival – We’re a Knockout competiton at Sandpit Field

We're a knoockout team at Swanage Carnival
Andy Lyons

It’s hard to know what’s going on here!

Plenty of strange sights at the carnival too!

While there were strange goings on in the sea, there were also plenty of unusual sights at Sandpit Field and Shore Road for Swanage Carnival.

Up on Sandpit Field, members of Swanage Fire Station joined in enthusiastically with the new We’re a Knockout Competition and were so on fire they blazed ahead of the other teams, ending up winning the tournament!

We're a knock out at Swanage Carnival 2023

Swanage Fire crew tackle more than fires!

We're a knoockout team at Swanage Carnival
Andy Lyons

The entertaining warm up for the Swanage Fire Station team

Return of the fire engine pull

Meanwhile later in the afternoon there was the return of the fire engine pull with teams including staff from Swanage Town Council, Swanage and Wareham Rugby Club and Swanage Lifeboat crew.

While the sun shined, the marquee or the Carnival Arms as they like to call it, was busy with not a spare picnic table to be had!

Fire Engine pull team at Swanage Carnival
Andy Lyons

The Swanage Lifeboat crew show they can still pull!

Fire Engine pull team at Swanage Carnival
Nadine Hudson Featherstone

Female fire power!

Fire Engine pull team at Swanage Carnival
Nadine Hudson Featherstone

Safety first for the Swanage Town Council team in high vis

Fire Engine pull team at Swanage Carnival
Nadine Hudson Featherstone

Swanage and Wareham Rugby Club tackle the challenge

Further information

Swanage Carnival 2023

After all the chilling out in the beer garden..

Swanage carnival fireworks
Cenk Albayrak-Touyé

…the day ends with the traditional fireworks over the bay

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