22nd September 2018
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WATCH: New Year is heralded in fine style by adventurous swimming groups

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Adventurous sea swimmers pulled on their wetsuits and jumped into the North Sea to welcome in the New Year in breath-taking style.

Friends and family took to the waves in Gulberwick, Sands of Sound and the Sletts for an invigorating New Year’s Day.

Phil Thornett was visiting the isles with friends and enjoyed Hogmanay celebrations at Mareel, having travelled up from Wimborne.

With an underwater camera, flippers and plenty of enthusiasm, he jumped into the less than tropical waters at the Sletts.

“It’s a great way to flush out the cobwebs of the old year and welcome in the new,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Thornett’s friend Cathi Driver, from London, was enjoying her first Shetland sea swim.

A large seal came to say hello, which gave some of the swimmers a bit of a fright. “It wasn’t as cold as I expected,” said Miss Driver, who kept her bare hands out of the water. “It was painful but I’m glad I did it.”

Down at Sound Cha Johnson, originally from the Philippines, was trying out her new swimming clobber which she received as a Christmas present.

She was joined by Helen Rankin and Shona Manson, as well as Helen’s son who braved the waters without a wetsuit. “It was very, very cold,” Mrs Johnson said, and in contrast to warmer climes back home.

Although she’s keen to give it another go soon.

In Gulberwick nine lads and lasses waded into the water, with most of the women in swimming costumes rather than wetsuits.
Kerry Geddes was among them and said the annual swim had become a tradition, sharing it with family and friends.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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