Skinny-dippers raise thousands for cancer charity

Kirsty Falconer and Emma Dalton spare their blushes behind an inflatable. Picture: Nigel Darling
Kirsty Falconer and Emma Dalton spare their blushes behind an inflatable. Picture: Nigel Darling
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Dozens of brave souls stripped naked at a Yellowcraigs Beach in East Lothian yesterday to take part in a mass skinny-dip to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

And although the event fell short of breaking the Guinness World Record for the most people taking part in a skinny dip, it is hoped the group have raised more than £15,000 to support its nursing service and two hospices in Scotland.

The 74 skinny dippers, of all ages, began arriving at the beach from 5.30am. All the participants were naked and entered the chilly water up to their waist.

Among those who took part were players from Boroughmuir Rugby Club, who have donated more than £25,500 to Marie Curie over the past six years.

Fundraiser David Murdoch said: “It was great fun! I signed up for the dip to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, spurred on by the fact that a friend of mine who had gone into remission had relapsed.

“She is fortunate to have friends that can look after her but so many people don’t have this support, which is where Marie Curie steps in.”

David was joined by an inflatable penguin called Penelope and a crocodile-hunting intrepid explorer sporting a bowler hat and a bushy moustache.

Many of those taking part had first-hand experience of the charity and used the occasion to remember loved ones.

Another participant, Peter Marjoram, said of the event: “Wow, what a blast! What a laugh! Maybe next time will be even bigger and, if possible, better, can’t wait.”

East Lothian Council had granted the naked fundraisers permission to use the location, which is overlooked by Fidra Lighthouse.

The exact spot was kept a mystery until after the event, as organisers had said the event was intended to be a ‘participant’s event, not a spectator sport’.

One participant, who asked not to be named, said: “It was a fantastic day for it.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t break the world record, but we still managed to raise lots of money.”

It had been hoped that well over 400 naked swimmers would take the plunge in an attempt to enter the record books.

The current world record was set in June 2011, when 413 people simultaneously swam naked off the coast of Llangennith in south Wales. The event was one of four skinny dips taking place across the UK on the same day

Skinny dippers paid a registration fee of £15 and were each expected to raise at least £85 in sponsorship.

Marie Curie Scotland, had described the event as a ‘celebration of life’.