Hundreds brave the Cornish sea for annual Boxing Day dip

More than 150 people run into the sea in Cornwall Credit: ITV News

More than 150 people have run into the sea on a Cornish beach, helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity at the same time.

At 11:30am on Tuesday 26 December, people dressed as Santa, Christmas crackers and everything in between took the plunge in water that was just over 11 degrees.

Fancy dress was encouraged and wet suits banned for the annual event at Charlestown Harbour in Cornwall.

The event has been taking place for more than 30 years starting with just a few swimmers, and growing to what it is today.

Becky Hughes from Charlestown Rowing Club, which organises the event, told ITV West Country: ”I think we're so lucky down here living by the coast and you know, we've got a safe and welcoming and beautiful space here to do it.

“It's fun and exciting and we have a mix of people, some of whom swim all year round and some who only go in the sea on Boxing Day. So it's a really kind of exciting event.”

Fancy dress was encouraged

One of those taking part said: “It wasn’t too bad actually, I feel really good now. I feel really good. It was cold when I was in there.

"I was thinking it's going to get better, it’s going to get better. And then I put my head under twice and had a little swim came out and feel great. "

Another swimmer said: “It’s a challenge to yourself, it’s something that gets you out in the ocean, in the wild, feel a bit connected to nature. And something you wouldn't normally do. It's that exhilarating feeling of the cold and yeah, it's just out of the ordinary and good fun.”

Since the event started it has raised around 25 thousand pounds for a variety of local charities.

The swimmers were also helping to raise funds for local charities

Ms Hughes said: “We are raising money for Penhaligon’s friends and so we split the profits from this event with a local charity that's important to us, and we choose a different charity each year.

"But we're also raising money for club funds. And this year, what we need to raise money for is new kit for our juniors.

"We've got junior riders from ages 11 and 12 up and obviously they need some special kit that's easy for them to learn with. So we need some new oars. So we're raising money for that as well this year.”