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Hundreds watch as the brave take part in Otley New Year dip
Chilly temperatures and a rapid current failed to put off more than 25 people taking part in the annual Otley New Year dip.
Hundreds watched from the banks of the Wharfe as participants stripped to their swimming costumes for a swim down the river.
Carole Deighton, 70, completed the swim for the 17th and final time, accompanied by 17-year-old grandson, James Hobkirk.
She said: “I said now that I’ve got to 70 it will be my last year, but having just done it I would do it again.
“I was in the lifesaving club and we used to swim in the river in the summer. It is refreshing and a great atmosphere.”
The swim was held in memory of Joe Town, a former lifesaver teacher from Yeadon, who died in 2011. He had organised the event for more than 25 years.
Another brave dipper, Melanie Metcalfe, 34, of Otley, said: “This is the first year I’ve done it. It was good fun. I really enjoyed it and will be doing it again next year.”
The event, now known as The Joe Town Memorial Swim, collected funds in aid of The Camphill Family charity, which helps vulnerable adults.
Jonathan Exley, 35, of Guiseley, one of the original participants, said: “Joe taught me lifesaving skills and I’m doing it for him. The river wasn’t as cold this year and it helps with the sun being out.”
The day was organised by a few individuals including family friend Stuart Tasker and Mr Town’s daughter, Helen Town.
They both echoed how pleased they were with the turnout and felt support from onlookers increased every year.