Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip raises £1537 in donations

Lifeboats News Release

Around 300 swimmers formed a long line along East Looe beach on Wednesday 1 January 2020, joining Looe RNLI volunteer crew with for the 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

(4) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

RNLI/Dale Staff

(4) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

Many swimmers wore fancy dress as they ran into the sea to celebrate the New Year, and in the process raised £1537 in donations for Looe Lifeboat Station.

In chilly and overcast conditions, the sea was flat calm as the brave and intrepid swimmers, many in fancy dress, formed a line along East Looe beach ready for the 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip.

The charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue II helmed by Brian Bowdler with crew members Victoria Thomas, Aaron Rix and Tom Langan was launched to provide safety cover. Looe Mayor, Martin Gregory, started the countdown and at 11 am the New Year’s day dippers ran down the beach and into sea. For the intrepid bathers a buoy was anchored 20m 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 and cheered the dippers from vantage points along the beach, seafront and Banjo Pier.

Event organisers and Looe RNLI volunteers, Guy Cooper and Sue Foster, were joined by crew Clive Palfrey, Dale Staff, Tom Peat, Jack Spree, who, together with lifeboat operations manager Dave Haines, acted as the beach safety team. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched by tractor driver Eric Candy.

Guy and Sue were delighted with the number of swimmers who took part. Every year this event increases in popularity, with this year attracting the greatest number of swimmers to date.

Several of our fundraising volunteers were joined by crew members to serve hot drinks, generously donated by the Cornish tea and coffee company, in the boathouse for spectators and swimmers to warm up after their bracing dip in Looe bay. The event raised £1,537 for Looe Lifeboat Station, this included £240 raised in sponsorship by swimmers Kate and Darren Swinhoe from Guisborough, £70 from Jemma, Carolyn, Wendy, Claire, Rebecca who also braved the swim, and £50 from Rosemarie and David Roberts

Guy and Sue, thank everyone who took part in the New Years day dip, along with the many spectators who lined the Banjo Pier and seafront to watch the spectacle, saying ‘the generous donations will be used by Looe Lifeboat Station to continue saving lives at sea’.

Before returning to the lifeboat station, our volunteer crew took the Atlantic 85 over to Polperro for their New Years day dip which started at 12 noon.

End

Photos:

  • (1) – Looe mayor Martin Gregory starting Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
    Photo credit RNLI/Guy Cooper
  • (2) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
    Photo credit RNLI/Guy Cooper
  • (3) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
    Photo credit RNLI/Shirin Hodgson-Watt
  • (4) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
    Photo credit RNLI/Dale Staff
  • (5) - Kate and Darren Swinhoe presenting their donation to Looe RNLI volunteer crew
    L – R Aaron Rix, Brian Bowdler, Darren Swinhoe, Kate Swinhoe, Jack Spree and Tom Peat
    Photo credit RNLI/Eric Candy

Information

· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk

or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or emma.haines@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789
(1) – Looe mayor Martin Gregory starting Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

RNLI/Guy Cooper

(1) – Looe mayor Martin Gregory starting Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
(2) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

RNLI/Guy Cooper

(2) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
(3) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip

RNLI/Shirin Hodgson-Watt

(3) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
(5) - Kate and Darren Swinhoe presenting their donation to Looe RNLI volunteer crew L – R Aaron Rix, Brian Bowdler, Darren Swinhoe, Kate Swinhoe, Jack Spree and Tom Peat

RNLI/Ian Foster

(5) - Kate and Darren Swinhoe presenting their donation to Looe RNLI volunteer crew L – R Aaron Rix, Brian Bowdler, Darren Swinhoe, Kate Swinhoe, Jack Spree and Tom Peat

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.