Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip raises £1537 in donations
Around 300 swimmers formed a long line along East Looe beach on Wednesday 1 January 2020, joining Looe RNLI volunteer crew with for the 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
Many swimmers wore fancy dress as they ran into the sea to celebrate the New Year, and in the process raised £1537 in donations for Looe Lifeboat Station.
In chilly and overcast conditions, the sea was flat calm as the brave and intrepid swimmers, many in fancy dress, formed a line along East Looe beach ready for the 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip.
The charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue II helmed by Brian Bowdler with crew members Victoria Thomas, Aaron Rix and Tom Langan was launched to provide safety cover. Looe Mayor, Martin Gregory, started the countdown and at 11 am the New Year’s day dippers ran down the beach and into sea. For the intrepid bathers a buoy was anchored 20m offshore. Several swam around the buoy but many of the swimmers just ran in to test the water temperature and ran back out again. Crowds of spectators watched and cheered the dippers from vantage points along the beach, seafront and Banjo Pier.
Event organisers and Looe RNLI volunteers, Guy Cooper and Sue Foster, were joined by crew Clive Palfrey, Dale Staff, Tom Peat, Jack Spree, who, together with lifeboat operations manager Dave Haines, acted as the beach safety team. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched by tractor driver Eric Candy.
Guy and Sue were delighted with the number of swimmers who took part. Every year this event increases in popularity, with this year attracting the greatest number of swimmers to date.
Several of our fundraising volunteers were joined by crew members to serve hot drinks, generously donated by the Cornish tea and coffee company, in the boathouse for spectators and swimmers to warm up after their bracing dip in Looe bay. The event raised £1,537 for Looe Lifeboat Station, this included £240 raised in sponsorship by swimmers Kate and Darren Swinhoe from Guisborough, £70 from Jemma, Carolyn, Wendy, Claire, Rebecca who also braved the swim, and £50 from Rosemarie and David Roberts
Guy and Sue, thank everyone who took part in the New Years day dip, along with the many spectators who lined the Banjo Pier and seafront to watch the spectacle, saying ‘the generous donations will be used by Looe Lifeboat Station to continue saving lives at sea’.
Before returning to the lifeboat station, our volunteer crew took the Atlantic 85 over to Polperro for their New Years day dip which started at 12 noon.
- (1) – Looe mayor Martin Gregory starting Looe RNLI’s 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
Photo credit RNLI/Guy Cooper
- (2) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
Photo credit RNLI/Guy Cooper
- (3) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
Photo credit RNLI/Shirin Hodgson-Watt
- (4) – Looe RNLI 8th annual famous Looe New Years Day dip
Photo credit RNLI/Dale Staff
- (5) - Kate and Darren Swinhoe presenting their donation to Looe RNLI volunteer crew
L – R Aaron Rix, Brian Bowdler, Darren Swinhoe, Kate Swinhoe, Jack Spree and Tom Peat
Photo credit RNLI/Eric Candy
· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith
· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk
· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.