Hundreds saw in the New Year in intrepid fashion yesterday, braving the icy wate
Organisers of Stonehaven’s annual New Year Nippy Dip were staggered to see double the number taking part in the traditional event compared to last year.
Fully 300 people took the plunge, despite registered participants numbering just 60 the day before.
As many watched on from the harbour walls, making it the largest of the events ever held in the town.
Among those defying the cold were Santas, superheroes, rugby clubs and last-minute converts to the cause.
The dip raises money for the RNLI and Stonehaven Town Partnership, which arranges events in the community.
Organiser Derek Malcolmson said: “There’s always a very family-orientated, family-friendly and buoyant atmosphere.
“It’s giving something back to the community.
“There were people from Wales and England who registered for the event on the day, which was great – they weren’t even aware of it until they came here.
“There were a huge number of spectators , everybody’s had a good time, the weather’s been on our side, and there’s been a real vibe about the place – everyone’s really happy.
“It’s a great opportunity to blow away the cobwebs and start the New Year afresh.”
Stonehaven RNLI crew member Lorraine Clark said: “It’s been a great event and very family-friendly.
“We had people in the water in case anybody got into difficulty but thankfully they weren’t needed.
“It was much bigger than I expected, and much bigger than last year, a really great turnout.”
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.