New year dip in North Sea still a splash hit despite rain

Richard and Julie Burnett, Tineke and Kevein Jennings, Kerry and Nathan Close and Jonathan Shute with Lynne Bogle enjoying the tropical weather at Coldingham on New Years Day.
Richard and Julie Burnett, Tineke and Kevein Jennings, Kerry and Nathan Close and Jonathan Shute with Lynne Bogle enjoying the tropical weather at Coldingham on New Years Day.

Hardy souls turned out en masse for this year’s New Year’s Day dip at Coldingham Bay despite dauntingly brisk temperatures and rain later on.

Dozens of dippers undeterred by the chilliness of the North Sea at this time of year put on their swimming trunks and bathing costumes to take part in the so-called loony dook on Sunday.

St Vedas Hotel and surf shop owner Stephen Powner said: “We have been here for 15 years, and we’ve seen it grow every year.

“It was cold but nice. People sat along the huts with magazines and hot soup.

“We served up hot drinks during the day.

“The event went really well, and everyone had a good time.

“The dip had somewhat become disorganised over recent years, so we found out what most of the local people were doing and a what time then decided to put that information online.”

The New Year’s Day splash kicked off at noon, with groups including Eyemouth and District Amateur Swimming Club braving the icy waters.

The new St Abbs lifeboat, launched last September, was on standby to ensure the safety of all those taking part.

Mr Powner added: “There was a slight disappointment later on when a bit of rain came on, but that was forecast anyway. Overall, it went really well.”

However, the weather didn’t stop Berwickshire’s surfers, along with its dippers, making the most of its waves.

Nearby businesses praised the dippers for their derring-do.

Number Four Gallery in St Abbs called those taking part “brave”, and the Sanddancer Holiday Cottage took to social media to say: “Well done to everyone who braved the cold for the New Year’s Day dip”.

More photos on page 4