Hundreds of brave dippers take the plunge at Seaton Carew

Brave dippers take the plunge in Seaton Carew
Brave dippers take the plunge in Seaton Carew

Hundreds of people showed their bravery as they plunged into the North Sea at the annual Boxing Day dip in Seaton Carew.

The event, which is organised by Hartlepool Round Table, saw 450 people turn out to take on the chilly challenge.

Darren Hornsey dressed as Santa riding on a reindeer

Darren Hornsey dressed as Santa riding on a reindeer

Community groups, families and sports teams donned their best costumes for the extravaganza including superheroes, Santa Clauses and even a man dressed as Mrs Brown from the BBC TV show.

READ MORE: Watch our gallery of pictures from the 2018 Hartlepool Boxing Day Dip
It was the seventh year Hartlepool Round Table have organised the event, which has been running for more than four decades, and chairman Paul Thompson was among those who braved the challenge.

He said: “It was surprisingly warmer than it has been the last couple of years.

“We’re really over the moon because we’ve had around 450 people do it this year - which is a bit of a high for us.

Hartlepool Round Table Chairman Paul Thompson

Hartlepool Round Table Chairman Paul Thompson

“It just shows that the event continues to grow year after year. Every year we average around £100,000 raised for local causes so its a good thing to do on Boxing Day.

"Thank you to The Marine Hotel, the Coastguard and the RNLI who offer us their support every year because we couldn't do it without them.!

Brave participants raise funds for a number of different local causes including Miles for Men, Alice House Hospice and Cancer Research.

And one dipper didn’t let an injury stop her from taking part.

Diane and Willy Wenn with granddaughter Sophie after the dip

Diane and Willy Wenn with granddaughter Sophie after the dip

Diane Wenn, 59, took the plunge for a second time. She said: “When we booked it I didn’t have this sling on. I’m doing it for The Bridge day care centre because my mum has dementia. I wanted to raise some money for them.

“When I injured my arm I just thought I’ll wrap it in a plastic bag.

“It wasn’t too bad actually, it’s cold but because it’s such a nice day and the shock aspect wasn’t there.”

Another dipper, Darren Hornsey, 51, took on the challenge in a bid to encourage players at Seaton Carew FC Tigers U13 to take part.

Jumping the waves

Jumping the waves

He said: “I signed up to encourage some of my 13 year old football players to join up.

“So I suggested it and by the start of December we had nobody else so I said I’d do it if enough of them signed up - and they have so I’m over the moon.

“But I’m 51 years old, I’ve never done it in my life before but this was the year.”

A team of elves with one of the RNLI volunteers

A team of elves with one of the RNLI volunteers