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Saturday, 02 August 2014

Wash away the blues

A GROUP of hardy fundraisers braved the cold sea to take part in a new year’s dip.

Brave swimmers battled bitter Walney winds and winter weather to take part in the traditional New Year’s Day dip at Earnse Bay.

The group included Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock who dashed into the sea in his swimming shorts.

He was accompanied by South Walney councillor Frank Cassidy, who took to the water with slightly more clothing on.

A shivering Mr Woodcock said as he walked out of the sea: “I just felt the most alive I’ve ever felt. It was so cold; your whole body goes numb.

“This is the third time I’ve done it. It’s become something of a tradition for me, so I thought I would do it again this year to see in 2012.”

Councillor Cassidy joked: “It was so invigorating, I’m going to do it every day from now on.”

Other daredevil dippers included brother and sister Sarah and John Donnan, who are raising money to travel to the Catholic pilgrimage site at Lourdes in order to help disabled people.

Sarah, 17, from Walney, said: “We go every year, to help push people round who are in wheelchairs, so we’re raising money for our travel fare.”

Members of Roose Pioneers also braved the icy water to raise money for the rugby club.

Shaun McPoland said: “I’ve done it for about 25 years. We’re raising money for the club. About six of us have taken part in the dip.”

Another dipper, Alec Proffitt, of Walney, said he had been persuaded to take part by his family on Christmas Day.

He said: “It was out of male bravado really; I nearly bottled out, but I made it.”

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