Hundreds of naked old and young people braved freezing temperatures to bare all for a dip in the North Sea at dawn on Sunday September 21st. Charity fund raisers, fun seekers and the plain balmy took part in the event at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, described as the “ultimate ice bucket challenge”.
They gathered from 5.30am to see a glorious dawn as the sun’s rays broke through the clouds above…..then launched themselves into the waves. But it was a ‘bit parky’ with the temperatures barely rising above freezing out of the water – and even colder in it.
The naked dawn run is the brainchild of Jax Higginson, who was inspired when she took part in a similar event in Gower, Wales in 2011.
“It’s fantastic,” said Jax, 36, a paramedic from Sunderland. “It is exciting for people who like to try something new. Who like to take a risk and challenge themselves. “It is not about looking good or comparing ourselves with the next person. It’s about recognising our natural beauty, how unique we are.”
The National Trust help organize the event, and money raised will be split between their work on the Northumberland Coast and The Mental Health Charity, MIND. It was timed to coincide with The Autumn Equinox, when summer passes into winter.
Peter Birkett, a ‘veteran’ of last year, described it as an unforgettable experience. He said: “People who do it once always want to do it again.
“Everyone has this impression it is going to be packed out with perverts. They couldn’t be more wrong. “There are professional people, teachers, academics, people from all walks of life.”
Organisers estimated around 200 took part. The world record skinny dip saw 800 take to the waves this year – but that was in the rather warmer climes of Miami, Florida.