26 December 2011
Last updated at 18:56
The traditional Boxing Day dip in the north Norfolk town of Cromer saw more than a thousand people line the tiered promenade and pier to cheer on those braving the sea for The Big C charity, in memory of Jeff Dodds who lived in the nearby town of Holt. Photos by Martin Barber.
The event, organised by the North Norfolk Beach Runners, has taken place in the town each year since 1985 when "foolhardy" members of the Beach Runners decided to do it as "a bit of a dare", said Clive Hedges, one of the event organisers. The annual dippers have helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes over the years.
Diane Northway, from The Big C, posed with Richard Howitt MEP. "The Big C is a wonderful charity and for us all to brave the North Sea on Boxing Day is the least we can do," said Mr Howitt. "When the charge began there was no going back. I dipped my head under which is the rule and lived to tell the tale."
Dippers entered the water at 11:00 GMT. Organisers estimated more than 200 people took the plunge, making 2011 one of the most populated dips in the annual event's history. "It's been fantastic, absolutely amazing," said Mr Hedges.
"We've held the event in Jeff's memory this year," said Mr Hedges. "He was always a great supporter of the dip and let's hope he's looking down from above. The money is going to Norfolk cancer charity The Big C and we'd love to raise £2,000. By the look of it, we're going to break that target."
The Cromer dip is thought to be one of the largest Boxing Day dips in England. Other fundraising dips take place in Norfolk at Overstrand and Mundesley, with an annual Christmas swim in The Wash taking place off the coast in Hunstanton on Christmas Day.
Captain Jack was on hand to keep a careful eye on the doubloons being given to charity. Dippers and spectators enjoyed a mild Boxing Day morning on the coast with air temperatures confirmed at 12C (54F) with the water at 8C (46F) in a moderate south-westerly wind.
Cromer dippers were all smiles despite the cold water. One participant said: "We did it as a family outing and to do something fun and exciting for Christmas. It was very cold, but brilliant. The atmosphere was fantastic and it's great to see such a sense of community and everyone together on Boxing Day."