Hundreds of competitors braved the chilly North Sea to enjoy the annual Newbiggin Boxing Day Dip despite poor weather conditions including strong winds and rough seas.
The large crowds estimated to exceed 1000 on the beach and over 200 hardy souls who braved the sea were up on last year’s count thanks to this established tradition of Boxing Day which was begun during the 1980’s by the Ashington Lions. The throng of Boxing Day dedicated and resilient dippers, in an array of brightly coloured costumes and attires, were huddling on a chilly beach then at 11.00am as they sprinted into the freezing sea watched by the hundreds of spectators on the beach and promenade. After a few minutes in the sea the dippers all eventually retreated, up into the care of their respective groups for drying off and to reflect on their successes.
The event was organised by Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat station and has raised over £1330 today in donations for the RNLI that were realised through generous support via sponsorship together with other donations. The Newbiggin Ladies Fundraising Team volunteers also had a busy morning providing refreshments that were served during the morning from the lifeboat station. Meanwhile on the beach Newbiggin’s lifeboat volunteers along with the local Coastguard teams from Newbiggin and Blyth marshalled and controlled the event on the beach with the lifeboat at sea providing seaward safety cover. Lifeboats from here at Newbiggin and our flank station at Blyth also took part to provide the essential event seaward safety cover. Apart from money raised for the RNLI a multitude of other charities were represented at the event and they will benefit from considerable support also.
On behalf of Newbiggin Lifeboat Station can I pass on my thanks for everyone who made this event such a success and we look forward to welcoming you again next year.