Come on in – the water’s F-F-FREEZING!

Hundreds of mad Fifers began the New Year in style as they plunged – many head first – into the freezing waters of the Forth.

Firstly it was Kinghorn’s turn as around 100 brave and hardy souls, including one group dressed as undertakers complete with coffin, laid 2013 to rest with a soaking in the surf, which was quite fierce due to the blustery winds.

Ann Belton (third from left) and friends

Ann Belton (third from left) and friends

They were dooking in aid of Kinghorn’s volunteer lifeboat which attended 38 call outs last year.

The rain stayed off and the sun even shone briefly as the dookers ran into the waters, dressed as everything from penguins and cowboys with inflatable horses to the aforementioned undertakers and super-heroes.

Over £745 was donated on the day, and further sponsorship is expected to make the final total around £1200.

Kinghorn Lifeboat press officer, Neil Chalmers said: “The Kinghorn Dook is becoming a popular event in the town calendar with even more people coming out to support the event today.

The Rugby Club oompah-loompahs

The Rugby Club oompah-loompahs

“The generosity of everyone who attended was enormous with £745 donated during the event. A number of participants also raised sponsorship for taking part, and we anticipate this amounting to around £500.”

The RNLI around the UK and Ireland rescued or aided nearly 25,000 people in 2012 and the funds raised at events such as the Dook will enable the charity, to continue providing this service.

Just an hour after the Kinghorn dook it was Kirkcaldy’s turn as the Langtoun Loonies waded into the waves, with quite a few being knocked off their feet by the strength of the water.

The new venue of the Seafield picnic area behind the Morrisons’ supermarket meant that crowds were more packed together in a smaller space, and with the tide fairly high, it was just a short sprint down to the water for the over 100-strong group, raising money for many different charities - including Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Farewell to 2013 at Kinghorn

Farewell to 2013 at Kinghorn

There were Oompah-Loompahs, Brazilian lifeguards, Batman and Robin and a nun among the enthusiastic dookers who included Kirkcaldy Rugby Club and the Cowdenbeath Civic Week gang who brought Bluebell the Cowdenbeath Coo along for her, and their, first Loony Dook, led by pipers and drummers from Kirkcaldy and District Pipe Band.

Organiser Ann Belton, from Lochgelly, said she was delighted with the turnout, with 99 people registering beforehand for the event and quite a few extra actually taking part.

And an amazing £10,000 was raised for the various charities which, included SANDS, Cowdenbeath Civic Week, Rachel House, Maggie’s, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research UK, Cleft Lip and Palate Association and Fife Gingerbread.

Spectators cheered the dookers into the water and took photos and videos of their antics.

Ann said: “Thank you to all who dooked, who came along to watch and donated to the various charities, the photographers and reporters, and the helpers on the day, Tony, Karen, Caroline and Roslynn and a very special thank you to Kirkcaldy and District pipers and drummers who answered my call for help and came along to lead us in.”