Brave man takes dip in freezing waters every day for charity

The 60-year-old took on the challenge in memory of his son-in-law who died after his battle with a rare cancer.

Brave man takes dip in freezing waters every day for charity Sarah Ward via SWNS

A wild swimmer braved the coldest winter in 26 years to take a freezing dip every day in February to raise money for a cancer charity.

John Keogh, 60, believed sub-zero temperatures would not stop him from completing his challenge as he swam in the sea at Hopetoun beach, near South Queensferry, West Lothian.

The coldest temperature of the water he swam in last week was 1.9C and the air temperature was -5C.

He braved the cold in memory of his son-in-law Shaun McKinley, 34, who died in 2016, eight months after being diagnosed with a rare cancer called sarcoma.

Dad-of-three Shaun had complained of sore back but was later diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Shaun McKinley

Funds are being raised by Shaun’s relatives for Sarcoma UK with nearly £6000 so far.

Grandfather-of-three John said: “I did feel the cold, but it was refreshing and I didn’t feel uncomfortable.

“It’s something I’ve become accustomed to now.

“The weather didn’t put me off, I’ve been determined to do it every day.

“I just had to think about where’d be the most accessible place to go to swim with some of the roads being covered in snow.”

The retired engineer from Uphill, near Broxburn, West Lothian, said he wanted to do something that would challenge himself, and wears a woolly hat and trunks whenever he goes for an icy swim in the sea, rivers or reservoirs.

John added: “My wife would say to me ‘you hate the cold’ but I’ve found it’s helped to reduce stress, it’s just an amazing feeling.

“I wanted to do something different but challenging, there’d have been no point doing it in August when it’s warm.

“I always stay safe when I do this.

“I don’t go past my chest, I always go to somewhere I’m familiar with and I’d say make sure someone else is with you.

“If I didn’t have a cause I was doing it for, maybe I wouldn’t have done it.”

After completing his challenge at the end of the month, John hopes to continue wild swimming four or five times a week.

To donate visit the fundraising website.

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