WATCH: New Year is heralded in fine style by adventurous swimming groups

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.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.