Hundreds of brave dippers take the plunge at Seaton Carew

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

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 8:55 pm
Brave dippers take the plunge in Seaton Carew

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

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.

Darren Hornsey dressed as Santa riding on a reindeer

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Watch our gallery of pictures from the 2018 Hartlepool Boxing Day Dip

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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.

“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.

Hartlepool Round Table Chairman Paul Thompson

"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 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.

Diane and Willy Wenn with granddaughter Sophie after the dip

“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.

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

Jumping the waves

“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