AROUND 400 people braved chilly waters on New Year’s Day to raise cash for charity.
Swimmers dressed up as Santa, Batman, and other popular characters to wade into the water at Stokes Bay.
The annual dip at Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service’s headquarters in Lifeboat Lane, Stokes Bay, Gosport, raises cash for several charities.
Sharon Lewry, 47, was raising cash for Simon Says, a charity that supports children going through bereavement.
Sharon’s daughter Olivia was killed in a crash aged 16 in November 2013 in Gosport.
Sharon said: ‘My daughter Olivia Lewry was tragically killed in Gosport and Simon Says helped Olivia’s sister Madeline, who was almost seven at the time, to come to terms with what happened.
‘We were all nervous and excited about going into the water and nothing could prepare us for actually how cold it was once we got in which took our breath away but was well worth it for this cause.
‘We managed to raise £560 and could not have been done without the support of family and friends, which we are truly thankful for.’
Sharon took part with Madeline, 11, Olivia’s aunt Lisa Davies, 46, Danny Davies, 14, and Derek Peachey, 73.
Campers had set up shop on nearby fields so they could watch the spectacle yesterday.
Chris Smith, 25, was with his partner Jade Slater of Gosport, dressed as Mr and Mrs Claus for the swim.
Jade, 21, said: ’It was crazy but a good start to the new year.’
Hundreds of people gathered to watch as the group of 400 swimmers went into the chilly 11.5C water at midday.
Dan Roiz De Sa, 46, and his wife Julia, 39, of Bury Crescent, Gosport, were dressed in Lederhosen for the swim.
He said: ‘It’s a lovely way to start the year and it raises money for Gafirs.’