Boxing Day dippers make a splash for Cromer RNLI
- Credit: Archant
More than 200 thrill-seekers took part in the traditional Boxing Day dip in Cromer this morning (Monday).
This year's event was organised in memory of Carnival stalwart Tony West, to raise money for Cromer RNLI.
And hundreds of spectators lined the sun-kissed promenade to show their support.
Mr West passed away, aged 54, in September following a two-year battle with cancer. He dressed as an inflatable Father Christmas at last year's dip.
Clive Hedges, chairman of North Norfolk Beach Runners who organise the event, said: 'It has been phenomenal. The last two or three years have blown us away - the crowds have been fantastic and the dippers have been even more fantastic.
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'I've been doing it for about 20 years and it doesn't seem to get any warmer.'
With sea temperatures close to freezing, the day began with a warm-up run along the promenade.
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Many of those taking part wore fancy dress.
Mr Hedges said: 'The sun is nice but the wind is cruel. I've heard measurements of about five or six degrees (Celsius) but I try not to think about it.
'They come from all over the place to take part, it's an attraction - they're mad!'
Last year's event raised just in excess of £2000 for Mesothelioma UK. And it is hoped this year's dip could top that.
Richard Leeds, Cromer Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'This is very important, not only are we doing this for the RNLI but it's also for Tony West, who helped us a lot as well. He was a tremendous character for us and for Cromer.
'It's great for the RNLI, we do need money; it's a public charity and we like to see the public here.'
Dippers of all ages took part in the annual festivities - many for the first time and others promising to return.
Paul Innes, 37, from North Walsham, who was dressed as an oompa loompa, said: 'We did it two years ago dressed up as Baywatch (babes) just for a laugh. The first time is fine, getting out and going back in the second and third time, that's when it stings a bit. But it's all good fun and it's for charity.'
The freezing sea temperatures failed to deter other fundraisers too.
Jade Mockett, 25, from Dereham, said: 'We did it last year and it was cold. But we came back because we enjoyed it and it's a good cause. We do a lot of fun runs throughout the year for charity because we enjoy it but this one is a lot colder.' And she added: 'We might be back for a third year.'
Other Boxing Day dips were held in neighbouring Overstrand, Mundesley and Sea Palling.
Nicola Cage-Brimelow 36, from Norwich, said: 'This is my very first time - I've really no idea why, I've not done anything like this before. I knew it went on every year and it's for charity.'