Dippers make the most of record-breaking mild New Year weather

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By Hannah O’Hanlon

The warmest New Year’s Day in the UK since records began made this year’s Dip For Dosh a little bit easier for about 70 daring dookers who took to Campbeltown Loch on January 1.

‘It was unbelievable, one of the warmest we’ve had – and I feel the cold badly!’ said Jamie McLean, chairman of the Dalintober Beach Regeneration group, which organises the event.

It is usually held annually to boost the beach regeneration project but the focus this year was on raising awareness rather than funds.

With members of the RNLI on standby in the water, participants plunged into the loch, many in fancy dress as is encouraged each year.

The tide was higher than usual, with the sand completely submerged, meaning people could dive in from the slip if they wanted, rather than walking down the ramp.

With the Covid pandemic ongoing, the safety of everyone involved was of paramount importance and spectators were asked to remain in their bubbles and keep a safe distance from others.

Also, showers and refreshments which are usually on offer at Campbeltown Sailing Club after the event were not available this year.

‘Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event anyway,’ Jamie said. ‘The feedback has been fantastic.

‘I’d like to thank everyone who took part for doing so under the current circumstances, especially those who travelled to be there, as well as all the spectators, everyone who adhered to the Covid regulations and the RNLI for providing safety support.’

Jamie added that it was especially important for the group to hold this year’s Dip, despite the challenges it faced, as the event was important to his partner Claire Peters, who died in March 2021.

Next year’s Dip For Dosh will be a momentous one, as it will be the tenth time it will have taken place since just 14 people took part in the first event in 2014.

Since then, it has become a much anticipated event in Kintyre’s community calendar, attracting almost 100 participants some years.

CAPTIONS:

Spectators lined the street and safety personnel were on standby in the water as the first dippers entered the loch. KC_c01dipfordosh01

Dalintober Beach Regeneration Group chairman Jamie McLean. KC_c01dipfordosh02

Lauren McAllister’s husband Paul and son Felix looked on as she took part in the Dip For Dosh. KC_c01dipfordosh03

Lots of festive clothing was worn by dippers and spectators. KC_c01dipfordosh04

Some of the younger dippers jumped into the loch from Dalintober Pier after the initial dip. KC_c01dipfordosh05

Some people were in and straight back out the water but many enjoyed a swim while they were in the water. KC_c01dipfordosh06