WATCH: Hundreds brave a chilly but sun-soaked Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people have kick started their festive celebrations by throwing on their swimming costumes and charging into the freezing water at Felixstowe beach for the Christmas Day dip.
The annual event saw scores of people donning swimsuits, or fancy dress, to take a plunge this morning, raising thousands of pounds for St Elizabeth Hospice.
The dippers were treated to beautiful sunshine as they dived into the cold water, however temperatures remained in the low single figures.
Not many revellers were put off by the cold weather however.
Curtis Redden travelled from Martlesham to give back to the charity which once helped him during illness.
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He said: "I had cancer a number of years ago and the St Elizabeth hospice supported me with medication and I had been in the hospice for treatment as well so this is one day I could give back.
"It was freezing. This is our third year doing it. It has become a bit of a tradition now. It's brilliant, we love it.
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"Last year was cold but the year before that was even colder. This has been quite nice to have the sun on our backs."
His wife Danielle added: "He has had help from the hospice so it means a lot to us and we like to do the dip to give back."
Another dipper, Greg Sparkes had travelled down from Lincolnshire to take part in the dip with his family.
He said: "My parents did the dip last year so I thought I'd come down this year to see what the fuss is about.
"I now know what the fuss is about. It absolutely was freezing but it was loads of fun."
This year marked the 16th Christmas Day Dip, which has now become a regular event for many in Suffolk.
Plenty of friends and family stood on the beach to watch those brave enough tackle the bracing waters.
There were plenty of Santa costumes as well as elves and even a special Christmas turkey.
Melvin Mayes said: "The dip was excellent, very exhilarating. It was just a tad cold.
"It's my first year doing it and I'll definitely come back again.
"It's a great way to start Christmas, we can go back now and have a nice Christmas dinner and put my feet up.
"Taking part in something like this is worthwhile. It's great to look at all the people who have taken part."