Loony dookers brave the cold to bring in 2020 with a splash

The Loony Dook has become a staple in the east coast’s festive calendar.

Loony dookers brave the cold to bring in 2020 with a splash SWNS
Loony Dook: The event has become a staple in the festive calendar.

Hardy loony dookers braved the cold to bring in 2020 with a splash.

Thousands lined the streets to watch the New Year’s Day dippers from around the globe shake off their hangovers by racing into the chilly Firth of Forth at South Queensferry.

Festive: The annual Loony Dook at South Queensferry.
Festive: The annual Loony Dook at South Queensferry.

Swimmers dressed as the Statue of Liberty were among them, with others opting for kilts, t-shirts or traditional beachwear for the event.

Winners: Jack, Laura, Niamh and Hannah gifted their prize to Maggie's Centres.
Winners: Jack, Laura, Niamh and Hannah gifted their prize to Maggie’s Centres.

The fancy dress competition was won by four friends – Laura and Niamh in their superb cardboard boat The Maid of the Forth, Jack as a can of Irn Bru and Hannah as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

Kiss: A couple celebrating the New Year.
Kiss: A couple celebrating the New Year.

Niamh’s parents met as teenagers while working on the boat. The vessel continued to play a special role in the family’s life when Niamh’s parents took the boat out to Inchcolm Island to get married.

The four gifted their £250 prize money to Maggie’s Centres.

Firth of Forth: Revellers took to the water on New Year's Day.
Firth of Forth: Revellers took to the water on New Year’s Day.

This year’s Loony Dook event at Kinghorn Beach in Kinghorn, Fife, helped raise funds for the town’s RNLI station.

Getting under way at 11am on Wednesday, more than 100 dookers took to the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth in shorts, swimsuits and bikinis. Some even opted for fancy dress.

Making a splash: Revellers took to the Firth of Forth.
Making a splash: Revellers took to the Firth of Forth.

Three women were spotted wearing bright pink Flintstones-inspired costumes and one man took the plunge wearing a tweed jacket, complete with shirt, tie, beanie hate and two hot water bottles.

Sheona Smith, Kinghorn Lifeboat fundraising chair, said: “We had fantastic support from our local community again with a record-breaking number of swimmers taking part this year to welcome the new decade.

“We welcomed many people to the beach and through their generosity £1295 was raised to help continue saving lives at sea.

“Kinghorn was one of the busiest lifeboat stations in Scotland in 2019 with the pagers sounding 82 times.

“This service, and all the training involved, costs a lot of money so fundraising events are essential to maintain the service. It costs £1527 per year to train a RNLI crewmember.

“Our lifeboat was launched for the event and the volunteer crew undertook a demonstration in the bay.

“We had a number of crew members in the water providing safety cover. They confirmed that the water was very cold, even in their dry-suits and thermal clothing.”

New Year's Day: The Loony Dook was created in the 1980s.
New Year’s Day: The Loony Dook was created in the 1980s.

Meanwhile in the Highlands, New Year revellers made a splash in Loch Ness for the annual Dores Dook.

Loch Ness: New Year revellers braved the cold for the Dores Dook.Peter Jolly
Loch Ness: New Year revellers braved the cold for the Dores Dook.

Established in the 1980s in a joking bid to cure New Year’s Day hangovers, the Loony Dook has become a staple in the festive calendar.