Fancy a dip? Hundreds take the plunge on Christmas Day
PUBLISHED: 12:59 25 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:59 25 December 2019
Buzz Lightyear, Santa, and a flurry of elves were among festive fun-seekers taking an icy dip in the sea on Christmas morning.
Watched by a huge crowd bathed in warm winter sunshine, hundreds kicked off their Christmas Day with the kind of activity most of us would struggle to embrace in the height of summer.
The 43rd Christmas swim at Lowestoft was reckoned among the biggest ever with over 300 having signed up before the dip.
Organiser Matt Stebbings of Sentinel Leisure Trust said he hoped over £10,000 would be raised for Lowestoft good causes, and possibly beat a previous total of £13,000.
Some 20 volunteers drawn from family, friends and charities helped to ensure the event, which was growing year on year, went well, he added with more and more people looking for a different way to start the day.
Among those taking the plunge for the first time were Fay Diamond, aged 33 and her mother Linda Knights, aged 60.
Dressed as elves their strategy was to "get right in" but probably not to linger too long.
The pair were raising money for children's charities in memory of Mrs Knights' mother.
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Meanwhile Peter Cook was slipping into his swimmers for the 25th time.
Marking the silver milestone was a real occasion the 65 year old said, staged in near perfect conditions.
Over the years he said the swimmers had been mostly lucky with what the weather threw at them.
"You see a lot of the same people each year," he said.
"It's a bit cold, the body will be steaming.
"You've got to get your head under otherwise you've not done it.
"Twenty five does feel a bit of a milestone but it sets you up for going home and cooking dinner."
Meanwhile Ben Edington, 30, from Lowestoft, said it was great to be with friends and family on Christmas morning.
He said: "It's a good way to start the day and it's all for charity, and it means I do not drink the night before which is a good thing.
"It's a big social event and you get to dress up like idiots and people laugh at you."
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