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Fancy dress swimmers dive in for charity
MORE brave souls than ever before took the plunge at Lyme Regis this New Year's Day.
Organisers the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis said around 200 people, most of them in fancy dress, made the dash for the sea.
And around 1,500 more cheered them on from the relative warmth of the beach and promenade.
Rotarian John McCallum said: “I think it went fantastic, the best year yet. It really is superb that people get into the spirit of the thing and take part like this.
“I’m just delighted. It’s a lot of effort that we put into advertising it and I think people enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Everybody is so happy and so friendly.”
But there were fears the swim would not go ahead at all after days of storms.
“On Monday we thought if this wind keeps up it might not happen,” said Mr McCallum.
“But the forecast was good and the sun shone for us."
It was the fifth time the rotary club has organised the event and last year it raised £1,700 for ShelterBox and the RNLI.
The same charities are set to benefit this year but the collections buckets and sponsorship have not been counted yet.
Mr McCallum said: “I have got lots of fivers and tenners in my box so the contributions have been superb.”
The Mellor family from Leicester, who have a second home in the town, were taking part for the second time.
Peter Mellor, wife Rachel, and their daughter Olivia took the plunge, while grandmother Rosemary cheered them on.
Mr Mellor said: “It’s the best swim we’ve had this year. We came down for the New Year for the week and to do the swim.
“It’s good fun and it’s raising funds for extremely good causes."
He added that the water was warmer than he expected, but Mrs Mellor said it was ‘bracing’.