New Year's Day Swim: Annual Barry Island event proves a huge success!
HUNDREDS of New Year's Day dippers took part in the annual fun and fundraising swim at Barry Island on Tuesday.
The hardy souls welcomed in 2013 by running en masse into the sea at Whitmore Bay. Following tradition, many of them went on to submerge themselves three times.
Scores of people left their bathers and swimsuits at home and took part instead in fancy dress, with onesies, an inflatable shark, Santa hats, wigs and a host of other outfits the order of the day.
Kevin Fairman, who wore a Hawaiian shirt, armbands and brought along his own inflatable shark, said: "It’s my first time and I wanted to do something a little bit different.
"I saw a guy do it in a mankini last year and thought I would try and beat it!"
Eve Brunt, who was taking part in the dip with family and friends ranging from seven to 40 years old, said: "We have been doing it for six years now. We all go in as a family.
"My son Aidan has a heart condition and he does it every year in a full wetsuit too."
Craig Brunt, speaking after the family had been in for their swim, said: "It wasn’t as cold as it has been in the past!"
Rob Salter, who has organised the event since 1984, said: "It started off as just a few of the boys who, after a few beers, thought it would be a good idea - and it’s just grown from there.
"It was a brilliant turn-out this year and it was great to see so many people both taking part and spectating.
"It has been getting better every year, with people coming from Cardiff, Newport and further afield."
Many of the participants opted to raise money for their own chosen charity, and were sponsored to take part in the annual event. Organisers also collected donations for two local funds, with money going towards the families of Evie Broad and Niamh Tarran.
Both youngsters are fundraising for the pioneering Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation in America, which would improve their levels of mobility.
"Hopefully we will have raised a few bob for two very worthy causes this year," added Rob.