Boxing Day Walrus Dip a huge success at Pembrey Country Park
From sizzling Bondi Beach Oz to shivering Cefn Sidan, Boxing Day Walrus Dippers came from all over the globe.
Five hundred fancy dress charity fund raisers braved the freezing winds and icy seas at the 30th annual Cefn Sidan Boxing Day Walrus Dip.
They came dressed as bananas, carrots, First World War Land Girls, a bottle of larger, a bathplug and ET. Penguins danced with the Hunchback of Notredam, there were scores of Father Christmases and a rash of daring dos in their mankinis and bikinis.
The youngest dipper spotted was five year Rachael Charles from Dafen in a Pepper Pig onesie and the oldest registered dipper Graham Carter aged 72 from Clydach.
There was a family of fairies and elves from Merthyr Tydfil raising money for Wales Air Ambulance and banana and a carrot from Ashburnham Road, Pembrey raising cash for the Ebola campaign.
The biggest shivering shock was delivered by 20-year-old Maddie Willey from Gladstone, Queensland, Australia, who confessed not even Bondi Beach and the Gold Coast Down Under, had given her goose bumps like those she experienced at Pembrey.
Before dashing for the sea to warm up Maddie posed with Chairman of Carmarthenshire council Cllr Daff Davies who launched the event,and dipped a toe himself to help benefit his many charities in his year of office. He thanked the council workers who gave of their time and the RNLI and St John Ambulance teams who made the popular event possible.
He praised Maddie and more than 500 dippers and an additional 1500 supporters for braving the conditions and making it such a colourful and fun event. “What a great way to shake off the excesses of Christmas Day” said Cllr Davies.
Maddie said: “My Mum’s partner Andrew Owens had shown me pictures of him doing the Walrus Dip 20 years ago. It was something I just had to do.”
Andrew, aged 48, a former Bryngwyn pupil and native of Dafen, now a teacher in Brisbane, said: “She is a brave girl. I must confess I am just holding the towel for Maddie. After my Walrus Dip in 1994 I emigrated. That tells you something about how much it chilled me!”
Robert Stevens of Rob’s Watch Repairs in Stepney Precinct, Llanelli, was dipping for the seventh time dressed as a bottle of lager with pals and work colleague Robin Phillips dressed as a Bisto kid and Stephen Gilson as a Christmas Pudding. Rob said: “It is a challenge to come up with something different evert year. But it is a real hoot, makes us really competitive and helps us raise a lot of money for charity.”
Mankini brave hearts were Ammanford’s James Border and Richie Phillips, raising money for a number of charities including the children’s’ cancer charity Latch.
Ebola campaigner fundraisers were Sue Davies a Yodel employee dressed as a banana and sister Angela Lewis dressed as a carrot. Angela who runs a new Naturopathic treatment centre in Cowell Street said icy sea water was therapeutic for number of ills. They rolled about in the surf outstaying many of the dippers even going back for a second frolic.
Take a look at more pictures in Flickr galleries.