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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Brrrace yourselves – the dip is still on!

HARDY fundraisers are preparing to plunge into the icy waters at Whitehaven once again for the annual New Year’s Eve dip.

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Come on in, the water’s lovely! Gary McKeating and Andy Sloan want a good turnout for the annual New Year’s Eve dip at Whitehaven

The event, held at Golden Sands, is to go ahead even though part of the harbour is closed off because of the damage caused by storms two weeks ago.

Organiser Gary McKeating said damaged areas will be fenced off and spectators are being asked to be mindful of stewards’ instructions.

Extra marshals will also be in place.

Around 130 hardy souls are expected the brave the cold waters of the Irish Sea wearing fancy dress to raise cash for charity. They will be cheered on by hundreds of family members, friends and supporters.

Around £15,000 is expected to be raised by fundraisers taking part in the Golden Sands Polar Bear Club annual dip for their chosen charities.

Participants can sign up at The Beacon from 11.30am on December 31, and the event begins at 12.30pm.

Mr McKeating said a host of activities will be held before the dip to warm up the crowds and dippers. “The Wellington Bistro at The Beacon will be providing soup to the dippers and selling hot dogs and soup to spectators.”

The Whitehaven Brass Band and Moky Fit will perform for crowds at the bandstand.

“The band will parade us to the Golden Sands, where the mayor and mayoress of Copeland, Geoff and Sandra Garrity, will signal the start of the dip and there’ll be a prize for the best fancy dress,” said Mr McKeating.

“Sellafield Ltd unions, lots of regular dippers and many new people have pledged to dip this year.”

Mr McKeating said he will again be sporting his bowler hat and dicky bow tie to start the annual challenge.

All participants need to sign a waiver form before they are allowed to go in the water and there will be safety marshals, the RNLI and the Coastguard on standby. The dip is for over-16s only.

Now in its 17th year, the charity fundraising event was started by a group of Sellafield Thorp workers. Every year it gets bigger with a crowd of several hundred watching.

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