Brrr-aving the chilly bay for the big dip

Glen Cooper as Eric Morecambe braving the chilly winds
Glen Cooper as Eric Morecambe braving the chilly winds

Around 80 swimmers and dippers, many in fancy dress, braved the chilly waters of Morecambe Bay to help raise money for St John’s Hospice and the RNLI on New Year’s Day.

Morecambe Sailing Club, which organised the event, said this was the first year it was open to the public, and it “exceeded all our expectations”.

Pete Moser at The Big Bay Dip

Pete Moser at The Big Bay Dip

Adam Leech, 17, from Scotforth, won the swimming race, while Glen Cooper, from Bare, won the prize for best fancy dress as Eric Morecambe.

Photos by Neil Ryder.

Organiser, Tyrone Lewis said: “The overall turnout was amazing, and it was good to see nearly 20 swimmers take to the water for the short course we had set out.

“This was the first time the club have organised a New Year dip open to the public, and the response exceeded all our expectations both in numbers taking part and in the promenade packed with spectators.

Adam Leech, from Scotforth, receives the award for winning the swimming race from MSC commodore, John Gibbison.

Adam Leech, from Scotforth, receives the award for winning the swimming race from MSC commodore, John Gibbison.

“Our clubhouse was full to capacity for much of the day.

“This has been very much a team effort working over the last month or so checking out sites, bringing together the safety teams, first aid, and, of course, the clubhouse team covering administration as well as kitchen and bar.

“A great big thank you to all who helped in any way to make this event a success.”

Club Commodore, John Gibbison, said: “We must congratulate Tyrone on his work in putting the Big Dip together.

Dippers take to the water

Dippers take to the water

“Apart from the event itself, which involved swimmers and dippers from teenage to over 80 years old, it has done a great deal to raise awareness of our club and we have a number of enquiries about our activities.”

Profits from the Big Dip are being shared between St John’s Hospice, RNLI, Morecambe and Morecambe Sailing Club.

The club said sea temperature was around nine degrees centigrade, chilly enough but warmer than the air temperature of about 4-5 degrees centrigrade.

It felt cooler when the effects of a bitter North Easterly wind took its toll. However, this was balanced with winter sunshine and good sea conditions.