Brave Boxing Day swimmers take the plunge into freezing waters across Britain – despite Covid cancelling official events

BRAVE Boxing Day swimmers have plunged into freezing waters across Britain in their festive outfits today.

Despite official events being cancelled because of coronavirus, keen swimmers joined in the festive fun in the chilly North Sea water.

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Swimmers braved the chilly waters to enjoy a Boxing Day Dip at Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, South Tyneside, this morning.

Fit with Christmas ties and Santa hats, some Brits marked the festive swim in style.

Families plunged into the icy waters in their costumes – with one woman dressing up as a Christmas star.

And in Sunderland, the Ice Men swimmers enjoyed a dip on Roker Beach – before many turned red in the freezing temperatures.

Poised and ready, the brave swimmers all lined up in the sea and posed for pictures during the traditional Boxing Day dip.

Normally, there are annual charity swims organised – but they have had to be cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A handful of hardy swimmers did still take the festive plunge in Clevedon, Somerset, today.

Boxing Day and New Year's Day dips at Clevedon Marine Lake were cancelled, but some still braved the lake's icy waters.

Other organisations, including the Whitby District Lions Club, which organises the resort's annual Boxing Day dip, have also been hit.

Brian Harrison, from the charity, said: "Last year, we had a record-breaking response with over 200 dippers taking part and at least 1,000 spectators supporting the event.

"As a result, the club raised over £14,000 for various local and national charities."

In Redcar, on the North Sea coast, there is normally an annual dip event on Boxing Day – but it has also been cancelled.

Instead, the organisers have asked people to take part in "a virtual dip" at home.

This comes just hours before Storm Bella is set to tear through the south coast – bringing severe flooding and gale force winds.

A total of six weather warnings are in place for Boxing Day today – as the entirety of England and Wales are lashed with gales and torrential rain.

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