Taking to the water
Swimmers and skiers brave chilly loch for charity
The first day of January may have brought some cold and drizzly weather, but that didn’t stop the adventurous members of Loch Lomond Water Ski Club (LLWSC) and the Helensburgh Lifeboat Station, who both took to the water for some New Year’s Day fun.
Hundreds of swimmers and waterskiers celebrated the beginning of 2018 by taking to the freezing waters of Loch Lomond and Rhu Marina for their annual fundraising events.
Helensburgh Lifeboat Station hosted their annual big dip in the chilly 7.5 degree water at Helensburgh’s Rhu Marina at noon to raise money for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
One hundred and sixty-three swimmers, young and old, took part – with newcomers joining the regulars who take to the water every year.
A crowd of 300 onlookers supported the swimmers from the sidelines.
This year’s youngest swimmer was sixyear-old Manni Gillies, from Dumbarton, who swam with dad Christopher.
Jim Brannan, from Balloch, took to the water for the 53rd year and put his enthusiasm for the event down to “stupidity”.
Throughout the morning, the members of the Helensburgh lifeboat crew were on safety duty, with many of them spending the entire time up to their waists in water.
The RNLI fund raising committee provided hot soup, tea and coffee for the swimmers, as well as special foil blankets sponsored by Tunnocks to provide extra warmth as the participants came out of the water.
Carrick Roy, who took over as local RNLI operations manager from Colin Gadiner on New Year’s Day, said: “I think everything went very well and we are delighted so many people turned up to take part and to watch.”
Meanwhile, LLWSC hosted their annual fancy-dress waterski at Cameron House Marina.
Skiers took to the water in their craziest, festive costumes to raise money for Race Against Dementia, which was named by the club as this year’s charity.
Organiser David Henderson said: “The club is very grateful to Cameron House Marina, Inchmurrin Hotel, Mayles Watersports and The Loch Lomond Rescue Boat for their support.”
David said the club were thankful to Cameron House Hotel staff for their support following the tragic fire which claimed two lives two weeks ago.
He said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the recent tragic event at Cameron House Hotel.”
The total raised is not yet confirmed but organisers are hoping for the same success as last year which raised £939 for the local children’s charity Fastworks Bonhill.
Festive Alexander Greaves as an Elf. Photograph by Martin Shields Brrrrrr! 163 swimmers took to the chilly waters Chilly Matt Linning as the wild waiter
Superhero David Cavana as Captain America Picture: Martin Shields Walking on water Participant Stephen Kinghorn
Lovely day The sun shone through the clouds for swimmers at Rhu Marina