No New Year’s Day dip in Fleetwood for second year running

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One of the Fylde coast’s most colourful New Year traditions will not be taking place for the second year running.


A previous New Year's Day dip in Fleetwood

A previous New Year’s Day dip in Fleetwood

There has been an annual charity New Year’s Day dip in Fleetwood for almost 30 years, with participants donning fancy dress costumes and braving the chilly waters of the Irish Sea since the early 1990s.

Since that time, various organisers of the event have raised thousands of pounds for a string of good causes.

However, stringent Covid restrictions meant the New Year’s Day 2021 event had to be called off and organisers have decided to give the event a miss this time as well.

Phil Gibson began running his version of the event via Fleetwood Kite Club almost a decade ago, and has been the main organiser in recent years.

But earlier this month he decided to call the event off.

There were hopes by some that the event could be reinstated because of Boris Johnson’s decision not to bring in new restrictions at this stage, but the event will not be held this time.

Phil said: ” Sadly we won’t be running it this year because of all the uncertainty over Covid and the insurance situation.

“Hopefully next year we can get back to normal.”

On his Facebook site, he expanded: “I have been in contact with the RNLI and asked their thoughts.

“Unfortunately due to Covid numbers RNLI/Coastguard are not able to support the event this year.

“Even in calmer conditions the unpredictable can happen and without their support and the large numbers we get it’s felt that it’s the best decision in the circumstances.

“Obviously people will still want to dive into the icy Irish Sea on NYD but please if you do, take care.”

Back in the 1990s the first New Year’s Day dip was predominantly a fundraiser for Red Marsh School in Thornton.

On New Year’s Day in 2007 there were even two separate organised dips, one by Fleetwood Gym and the other by Fleetwood Rugby Club.

Over the years the event has raised funds for causes such as the North West Ambulance, Fleetwood RNLI, the Miscarriage Association and Brian House children’s hospice, as well as junior sports teams in the town.