Swimmers braved the cold waters of the Thames Estuary to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution charity in this traditional winter ‘dip’. They weren’t put off by the chilling water temperature which was measured to be 6.1 degrees C, nor the equally bitter bright but fresh blustery weather. The entry fee (paid to the RNLI) included a reviving hot drink and mince pie on leaving the water. Many swimmers sported festive garb or fancy dress, whilst the RNLI attended to ensure their safety. More sensible visitors took advantage of the conditions to walk the pier and beaches – wearing far more suitable attire.