Dip in the lough ensures ‘fresh’ start to New Year

Angela McClements takes the plunge at the annual New Year's Day swim at Carnlough Harbour. 
Photograph By Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Angela McClements takes the plunge at the annual New Year's Day swim at Carnlough Harbour. Photograph By Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Charitable swimmers got 2017 off to a bracing start when they took the plunge at Crawfordsburn Beach on New Year’s Day.

The event in aid of Cancer Focus NI attracted a large number of participants as well as a sizeable crowd at the Co Down beauty spot to cheer on the brave swimmers.

Shaking off the excess of Christmas and making a fresh start to the New Year by taking a chilly dip at Crawfordsburn Beach. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

Shaking off the excess of Christmas and making a fresh start to the New Year by taking a chilly dip at Crawfordsburn Beach. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

Many donned fancy dress for the occasion and although the sun was shining the waters of Belfast Lough were suitably chilly.

Everyone who made a ‘fresh’ start to the year received a free Cancer Focus NI T-shirt and hot drink after their swim.

All proceeds from the well-supported event go towards supporting the charity’s care and support groups for cancer patients and their families.

Cancer Focus NI offer a range of cancer prevention programmes to help people lessen their risk of getting cancer; fund scientific research into the causes and treatment of the disease and campaign for better health policy to protect our community and its future.

Taking a chilly dip at Crawfordsburn Beach. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

Taking a chilly dip at Crawfordsburn Beach. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

Meanwhile, there were also New Year’s Day swims going on at other locations around Northern Ireland, including at Carnlough Harbour.

Participants there were lending their support to the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

It was the 45th anniversary of the event which was started off by the late John McNeil, Bill Bell, Danny Wylie and Aidan Metrusty of the Ballymena branch of the organisation.