Record numbers take the plunge for Looe RNLI’s 6th annual New Year's Day dip
Forming a long line along East Looe beach this morning, Monday 1 January 2018, over 250 swimmers joined the Looe RNLI's volunteer crew for the 6th annual famous Looe New Year's Day dip.
On a crisp and sunny morning, many swimmers wore fancy dress as they ran into the sea to mark the New Year, and in the process raised over £1000 in donations for Looe Lifeboat Station.
At 11 am Looe RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Geoff Penhaligon blew his whistle and over 250 swimmers ran down the beach and into sea. For the intrepid bathers a buoy was anchored 25m offshore. Several swam around the buoy but many of the swimmers just ran in to test the water temperature and ran back out again. Crowds of spectators watched the intrepid bathers from vantage points along the beach, seafront and Banjo Pier.
Over £1,000 was raised for Looe Lifeboat Station, collected by fundraising volunteers who were joined by volunteer crew members to serve hot drinks and mince pies afterwards in the boathouse for spectators and swimmers to warm up after their bracing dip in Looe bay.
David Haines, Lifeboat Operations Manager with Looe RNLI and Jay Curtis, volunteer Looe RNLI crew member, who organised today’s event, were delighted with the number of swimmers who took part. They both commented that this event increases in popularity every year, with this year attracting the greatest number of swimmers to date.
David and Jay thanked everyone who took part in the swim, along with the many spectators who lined the Banjo Pier and seafront to watch the spectacle. David Haines went on to say: 'the generous donations will be used by Looe Lifeboat Station for crew training, helping them to continue saving lives at sea'.
The charity’s D Class inshore lifeboat helmed by Brian Bowdler, with crew members Aaron Rix and Richard Porter, was launched by Graham Rich to provide safety cover and was joined by two Looe RNLI volunteer crew on paddle boards.
Photo credits RNLI/Ian Foster
For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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