Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hundreds take plunge in Gosport for New Year's Day dip

Stokes Bay swim Image copyright PA
Image caption Swimmers run into the Solent at the start of the swim

Hundreds of hardy swimmers have taken part in a bracing New Year's Day swim in the Solent off Gosport in Hampshire.

Many wore fancy dress as they dived into into the water at Stokes Bay.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service said a record 351 people took part in the swim watched by thousands of spectators.

Colin Davey, of the service, said: "I don't think there is a bigger New Year's Day swim in the country."

Divers, lifeboats and lifeguards in canoes were placed in the water as a precaution.

The event raised money for more than 20 local and national charities.

The charity dip was cancelled last year for the first time in more than 30 years after the Met Office forecast severe gales.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Swimmers, many in fancy dress, braved the icy waters

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