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Boxing Day dippers brave chilly coastal waters for charity

Boxing Day dippers brave chilly coastal waters for charity

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Hundreds of people raced into the North Sea off the Norfolk coast
Boxing Day dips have attracted thousands of swimmers and spectators around the English coast.Dippers have dashed into the chilly waters off beaches in Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside and Dorset, among others.Many were fundraising for charity dressed as Father Christmas, nuns, elves, Christmas puddings and turkeys.Sea temperatures were estimated to be about 8.9C (48F) in the north and 11.1C (52F) in the south.
No, we have no idea what they are dressed up as either but they're clearly having fun
Costumes ranged from simple swimming costumes, wetsuits and sports gear to something more... complicated
Conditions were "the roughest they have been for a number of years" at Tynemouth Longsands, with swim time limited to 10 minutes, according to participants.
Run by the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards, the dip first took place in 1999.Swim veteran Geoff Wade said it was a "great way to clear your head after the excesses of Christmas"."It felt warmer to me but it was my wife's first time and she didn't think the same," he said.
The Tynemouth dip had a time limit, just in case anyone needed it
Some brave Tynemouth dippers didn't even need fancy dress costumes to keep warm
RNLI Lifeboat operations manager Dave Cocks said the Redcar dip had had "as many spectators as we've ever seen".The weather was "bright but cold" and there had been "lots of young and old doing the dip", he said.
People might run into the water but it's slower work getting out again
Jade Thirlwall, who is a member of pop band Little Mix, returned to her home town of South Shields to raise funds for a local charity at the Little Haven beach dip."My great-aunty Norma, she passed away last year from pancreatic cancer so it means a lot to me to do what I can," she said.
Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall was raising money for local charity Cancer Connections
Nearly 200 people dipped at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea on the Northumberland coast, with local lifeboat volunteers and coastguard teams providing safety cover.Just as many spectators watched their efforts from the relative warmth of the beach and promenade.
Speed seemed to be the trick at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea
Of the annual dips one of the largest, organised by Sunderland Lions Clubs, has been held since 1974.It attracts up to 900 dippers and raises tens of thousands of pounds for charity.
And there is always a man in a dress... always
Thousands of pounds is raised for charity by dippers
A 70m (230ft) swim across Weymouth Harbour on Christmas Day attracted 483 swimmers - a record number for the event.It was started this year by Don Laker, 93, whose father inaugurated the event in 1948 with a swimming bet against a friend.Weymouth and Portland Lions Club took over running it the 1970s.
The hardy souls of Dorset braved Weymouth Harbour on Christmas Day
Christmas
Redcar
Tynemouth
Weymouth
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