Hardy Boxing Day dippers in Sunderland and South Shields go it alone with plunge in the icy North Sea despite official events being cancelled

December 26 would normally see hundreds of hardy souls braving the icy waters of the North Sea to raise thousands of pounds for charity in the North East’s famous Boxing Day Dips.

Saturday, 26th December 2020, 5:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th December 2020, 5:26 pm

Sunderland’s Dip, at Seaburn, has been running for 45 years, while South Shields hosts a number of events for different charities, including the Cancer Connections dip, regularly attended by Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall.

This year, however, the difficulty of enforcing social distancing not only among the dippers themselves, but the huge crowds who turn out to support them, has meant the cancellation of official events up and down the coast.

But you can’t keep a good dipper down, and a dedicated handful still turned out to raise cash alongside the wild swimming clubs that regularly brave the waves.

Hardy dippers took part in their own festive plunges after covid saw the traditional mass events cancelled

And the wild weather ushered in by Storm Bella hasn’t stopped hundreds heading down for a bracing stroll along the beach.

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The Ice Guys swimming club take to the waves at Roker
Seasonal attire at Sandhaven Beach in South Shields while Lauren Flaxen and daughter Meadow, seven, enjoy a plodge at Seaburn
Michael Laing and Gary Miller enjoy a festive tipple at Seaburn to raise cash for Mencap
Feeling the chill at South Shields' Sandhaven Beach
Walkers on Roker Beach in Sunderland are treated to a glorious sunrise which sets the skies ablaze starting off Boxing Day in style
Boxing Day sunrise in Sunderland