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Brave souls in region take on Boxing Day dip; fancy dress on display for newbies as well as old hands.

Byline: SARA NICHOL Reporter sara.nichol@ncjmedia.co.uk @SaraNichol10

HARDY souls shivered-off some Christmas calories as they braved the cold and waves of the North Sea.

Thousands of people were involved in the region's annual Boxing Day dips, which took place at several coastal spots between Berwick, in Northumberland, and Seaham, in County Durham.

The event at Tynemouth was organised by the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards and took place from their headquarters on Longsands beach at 11am yesterday.

Young and old donned fancy dress or swimming gear as they ran into the chilly waters and took the post-Christmas plunge.

Some were dip veterans but others were taking part for the first time, including Ian Duncan, from Hebburn, South Tyneside.

The 41-year-old was supported by his wife Caroline and was dressed in a "Hawaiian bra" as he braved the cold and choppy North Sea.

He said; "It's the first time I have done it, although I've fancied doing it for a few years now.

"My friends did it last year, so I thought I would give it a go this year - it's right up my street."

Others taking part made it more of a family affair. Nicky Gibson, from Ryton, took the plunge for the first time with her husband Kevin and 10-year-old son Haydn.

She said; "I just thought, it's now or never! There have been a few family things that have gone on this year, so I thought, you only live once! My younger son decided to do it with us but my older one was a bit wiser and decided to stay at home."

Karen Farr took part with 21-yearold son Alex, who volunteers with the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards.

Dressed as a penguin, the 49-yearold, from Whitley Bay, said; "I used to be the treasurer for the lifeguards but I've never done the dip. I always said I would do it before I'm 50 and I'm 50 at the end of January," Alex added: "I've been doing it for years, about 10, I think. The hardest part is the initial pain from the cold when you run in!" Mike Briggs-Price, from Nottingham, was visiting his son in Killigworth, North Tyneside, for Christmas when he decided to take part.

The 64-year-old added: "I've seen it on the TV and I've always thought I would like to do it myself. My son lives up here and we came up for Christmas, so I thought it was good opportunity."

Other hardy souls took the plunge at Berwick, South Shields, Newbiggin-bythe-Sea, Sunderland and Seaham.

CAPTION(S):

Ian Duncan taking part in the Boxing Day Dip in Tynemouth

Kevin Gibson and his partner Nicky taking part in the Boxing Day Dip in Tynemouth

Karen Farr and her son Alex Farr taking part in the Boxing Day Dip in Tynemouth

Mike Briggs-Price taking part in the Boxing Day Dip in Tynemouth

Caryn Pitkethly, 20, takes a dip in the sea at Tynemouth during the annual Boxing Day dip

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:0NORT
Date:Dec 27, 2017
Words:496
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