Friday, August 5 2022
Loony Dook

Hardened swimmers will welcome the New Year once again by braving the icy waters of the Firth of Forth as the annual Loony Dook returns to South Queensferry.

Hundreds of people join the event each year, which sees divers raising money for charity by wading in the sea near the Forth Bridges on January 1, dressed in a variety of colorful outfits.

Loony Dook
Donal Trump made an appearance in 2019 (Andrew Milligan / PA)

The 2021 event has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic but organizers have announced its return, with tickets on sale starting Friday.

Operating since 1987, the Loony Dook is part of Hogmanay’s celebrations in Edinburgh, with every ticket sold including a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Kirstin Heggie, owner of the Allium gift shop in South Queensferry, said: “The Loony Dook is a fantastic event for South Queensferry as it attracts many visitors to our small town.

“It’s nice to see a lot of new faces every year and also to welcome back the old pets.”

Moira Cunningham, owner of the Ravenous Beastie guesthouse, said: “Everyone in South Queensferry is very happy with the return of the Loony Dook and the buzz it brings to the community each year.

“This is such a joyous and fun occasion and a special way to mark the start of a new year that awaits us.”

Live entertainment company Underbelly is hosting the event.

Co-directors Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “The community of South Queensferry has asked us to help them organize this much-loved tradition on the Firth of Forth.

“There really isn’t a better or refreshing way to start the New Year, so grab your costume and come take a dip. “

New Years Day celebrations
Crowds gather in South Queensferry (Jane Barlow / PA)

David Smart of the RNLI said: “The Edinburgh Hogmanay graciously donates £ 1 from every ticket purchased for the Loony Dook at the RNLI.

“The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Every day of the year people from all walks of life are at risk in the water.

“The support of all donations means RNLI crews can save lives quickly, safely and effectively – as always, we are extremely grateful to everyone for their support. “

Donald Wilson, an Edinburgh city councilor, said he would attend and “the highlight of many people’s festive calendars” would be “as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone”.

City Councilor Norman Work said South Queensferry “will be looking forward to welcoming everyone to our world famous waterfront on New Years Day.”

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