Record numbers at festive sea swim
More than 650 fancy dress-clad bathers braved Boxing Day seas as a resort's annual festive dip became a record breaker.
Mild temperatures contrasted favourably with last year's sub-zero misery to tempt record numbers to take the plunge at Tenby, west Wales. The picturesque seaside resort has become a magnet for hardy revellers seeking to shake off Christmas Day excess with a brisk sea dip.
The traditional event, now in its 41st year, has snowballed into a top UK festive highlight attracting hundreds of hardy bathers. Organisers predicted a big rise on last year's 350 bathers as warmer weather enticed more people to take the plunge.
They paid tribute to the "brilliant turnout" as bathers dressed as everything from bananas to TV sets made a festive splash. The resort has also made a splash nationally itself this year with no fewer than five TV programmes raising the town's profile.
"Over 650 bathers took to the water in Tenby to make the resort's 41st Boxing Day Swim an all-time record breaker," an event spokeswoman said.
"Crowds in their thousands turned out in mild, damp conditions to enjoy the silly spectacle, which is one of Britain's top festive highlights.
"Fancy-dressed dippers on the North Beach created some magnificent costumes to reflect the event's Tenby on TV theme, and faced a sizeable sprint to the sea because of the low tide.
"This year, the resort has featured on five different television programmes - including Don't Tell The Bride and Grand Designs - as well as being recreated for a festive Tesco advert."
Chris Osborne, the Tenby Swim chairman, added: "The weather's been kind to us and brought out a massive crowd to fill a massive beach. It's been a great year for Tenby on the television, and brilliant to be able to round it all off with a record-breaking swim."
The event is set to raise thousands of pounds for charity, including four nominated good causes - Pembrokeshire Cancer Support, Hafan Cymru, Cruse Bereavement Care and the Tinker's Hill Bird of Prey and Swan Rescue Centre.