Swimmers brave the sea for icy annual New Year’s Day dip

Emily Chudy, PA
·1-min read

Hundreds of swimmers have braved the chilly seas around the UK for annual New Year’s Day dips.

With several charity swimming events cancelled this year due to coronavirus restrictions, people still headed to the waves to enjoy a socially distanced paddle in freezing temperatures.

The UK was expected to record temperatures as low as minus 4C in some areas on the first day of the year.

Rachel Tampin, 28, from Wallsend, takes a dip into the sea at Whitley Bay in Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Rachel Tampin, 28, from Wallsend, takes a dip into the sea at Whitley Bay in Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Ollie King, 22, and his sister Laura, 19, take a dip into the sea at King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Ollie King, 22, and his sister Laura, 19, take a dip into the sea at King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Locals and their dogs take a new year’s day dip in the sea at Scarborough in North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)
Locals and their dogs take a new year’s day dip in the sea at Scarborough in North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)
Winter Weather Jan 1st 2021
Emma Booth, 41, from Stockton, feels the chill at Whitley Bay (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Winter Weather Jan 1st 2021
There was little hesitation shown by those running into the icy North Sea (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Meanwhile, traditional New Year’s Day “polar plunge” events have been cancelled across the United States and Canada, with several swimmers opting to also take on a socially distanced alternative.

Organisers of the Courage Polar Bear Dip in Lake Ontario asked people to post videos of themselves being immersed in any body of ice water, including baths and paddling pools, to emulate the annual event in a Covid-secure manner.