Crowds gather at Whitley Bay for new year swim

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the annual event, organised by the Panama Swimming Club in Whitley Bay.

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About 200 people took to the icy waters off the Tyneside coast to take part in a traditional New Year's Day swim.

The annual event is organised by the Panama Swimming Club in Whitley Bay and regularly attracts hundreds of onlookers.

Some participants donned fancy dress costumes for the event, which took place close to Whitley Bay's famous Northern Promenade at 1100 GMT.

A club spokesman said: "It's the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs."

Many of those taking part raise money for charities.

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