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Golden Sands Polar Bear Club - Whitehaven harbour

New Year's Eve in Whitehaven means its time once again for the Golden Sands Polar Bear Club annual dip in the cold waters of the harbour

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Of course you can't go into for a swim in the sea without getting dressed for the occasion and so nearly everyone dons fancy dress.

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It appears as though these guys were expecting better weather although having a tee-shirt that looks like a bare chest is a cunning way of staying warm.

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Choosing a gorilla suit or a onesie as your fancy dress is another ruse to stay warm.

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A group dressed as Santas seemed appropriate for the season - I always wondered how Father Christmas wound down after the big day.

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Another group were the Whitehaven ramblers who decided to give the fells a miss and walk into the sea and back.

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There was also a few vikings present wrapped in fur of course to keep warm but not very good for swimming in.

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This berserka was obviously berserk to do without a bit more insulation and was one of the brave souls interviewed by the BBC's Emily Unia who also took the plunge dressed as penguin.

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These three young lasses appeared to have been going blue with cold before they even got to the water.

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To warm eveyone up, excercies in the form of hokey-cokey and a bit of dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe, were performed at the hub.

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Whitehaven town provided music for the march from the hub to the outer harbour.

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Eveybody then all marched along West Strand to the Golden Sands glad that the weather was relatively mild this year.

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On the beach even more swimmers were waiting including these in more traditional bathing costumes.

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I guess this costume might also double up as a life belt...

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... however to keep everyone safe the RNLI and coastguard had volunteered to stand in the water and monitor the situation.

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Then there was just time for a group photo in front of a large crowd lining the walls of the harbour before that quick dash into the sea and for many an even quicker dash back out - although some were content to swim about a bit before retiring.

See the you tube video below to see some of the quick spashing about.

Youtube video


See the 2012 event

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WAWL 2014