North East Skinny Dip sees hundreds shed their clothes for huge naked swim
The North Sea was awash with nude swimmers as they splashed into the water as part of a popular annual event.
The North East Skinny Dip was held for the eighth year running shortly before 7am today, Sunday, September 22, at Druridge Bay in Northumberland.
It marked the autumn equinox, which signifies the end of the summer and is one of two days in the year where day and night are roughly equal.
People travelled from the length and breadth of Britain to gather together, shed their clothes and make a dash for the water – which is a bracing 11 °C at this time of year.
The event, led by Whitburn woman Jax Higginson, has already raised more than £50,000 for mental health charity Mind, with this year’s profits to be gifted to the Tyneside and Northumberland Mind branch of the organisation.
Organisers said 700 pledges to join in had been made, with each making a donation to the cause.
Sunderland fire dancer Penella Bee entertained the crowds ahead of the sunrise, with food and hot drinks served to the brave souls who bared all as they warmed up after the dash.
Coastguard Rescue Teams from Amble and Newbiggin were hand to make sure everyone was safe, while an RNLI inshore lifeboat from Amble was in the water for additional support.
Many travelled to the site, close to Druridge Bay Country Park, the night before to camp.
Among those to take part was Rev Kate Bottley, who broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and has appeared on Chanel 4’s Googlebox, who sounded a rallying cry for people to support the charity effort and for anyone who needs support with their mental health to seek help.
She tweeted: “I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than naked in the North Sea with friends.
She added via her account, @revkatebottley: “Thank you for helping me face the waves.
“And remember it’s good to talk and it’s good to listen, support is available if you need help with your mental health.
“You are loved and lovely and the world would be less without you.”