New Year’s Day dippers to brave icy waters as Loony Dook returns

Hardy swimmers will again welcome in the new year by braving the icy waters of the Firth of Forth as the annual Loony Dook returns to South Queensferry.

undreds of people join the event each year, which sees dippers raise money for charity by wading into the sea by the Forth Bridges on January 1, dressed in a variety of colourful outfits.

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Donal Trump made an appearance in 2019 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The 2021 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but organisers have announced its return, with tickets on sale from Friday.

Running since 1987, the Loony Dook is part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, with each ticket sold including a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Kirstin Heggie, owner of the Allium Gift Shop in South Queensferry, said: “The Loony Dook is a fantastic event for South Queensferry as it brings so many visitors to our little town.

“It is lovely to see lots of new faces every year and also great welcoming back the old familiar ones too.”

It is such a joyful and fun occasion and a special way to mark the start of a new year ahead of usMoira Cunningham

Moira Cunningham, owner of the Ravenous Beastie guesthouse, said: “Everyone in South Queensferry is so happy about the Loony Dook being back and the buzz it brings to the community every year.

“It is such a joyful and fun occasion and a special way to mark the start of a new year ahead of us.”

Live entertainment company Underbelly is organising the event.

Co-Directors Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “The community of South Queensferry have asked us to help them organise this much-loved tradition on the Firth of Forth.

“There really is no better or refreshing way to start the new year, so grab your costume and come for a dip.”

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Crowds gather in South Queensferry (Jane Barlow/PA)

David Smart from the RNLI said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kindly donates £1 from every ticket bought for the Loony Dook to the RNLI.

“The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Every day of the year, people of all backgrounds get into danger in the water.

“The support of all donations means that the RNLI crews can save lives quickly, safely and effectively – as always, we’re incredibly grateful to everyone for their support.”

Donald Wilson, an Edinburgh city councillor, said he would be taking part and the “highlight in many people’s festive calendars” would be “as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone”.

Fellow councillor Norman Work said South Queensferry will “look forward to welcoming everyone to our world famous waterfront on New Year’s Day”.

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