Loony Dookers take the plunge

Blustery winds followed by rain failed to put a damper on the high spirits of Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy’s Loony Dookers.

Kinghorn’s lifeboat station kicked off its golden anniversary year in style when around 80 people took part in the Ne’er Day dip.

The Flintstones at Kirkcaldy's Loony Dook. Pic: FPA

The Flintstones at Kirkcaldy's Loony Dook. Pic: FPA

Rain held off for the event as many dressed in a golden theme plunged into the icy waters of the Forth to welcome in 2015 and raise money for the RNLI charity, with hundreds of spectators lining the prom and surrounding braes to watch.

Over £620 was donated to the RNLI on the day, and further sponsorship is expected to boost the total.

Neil Chalmers, Kinghorn Lifeboat press officer, said: “We had a great turnout in the face of a poor weather forecast, and there was a great crowd at the beach taking part, as well as supporting and cheering on the brave souls!

“Our lifeboat was launched this year for the event, and it did a demonstration in the bay, with crew members in the water providing safety cover. They confirmed that the water was very cold, even in their dry-suits and thermal clothing!”

An hour later it was Kirkcaldy’s turn as around 60 dookers took to the waves, by this time with the rain falling.

Kirkcaldy Rugby Club had 23 members dressed in Robin Hood theme raising money for Stand Tall - Connor’s Journey in aid of a Stirling-based rugby player who was left paralysed from the neck down following a rugby accident.

The Betsy Fund featured five people dressed as Flintstones dooking to raise money to repay Guide Dogs for the Blind which paid for a lifesaving operation for a puppy which was being trained by Kirkcaldy couple Joyce and Diane Hankin.

And seven members from Kirkcaldy YMCA braved the waters to raise funds to stage this year’s Kirkcaldy Skate and Bike Competition held annually in the town’s Beveridge Park.

Joyce said: “It was great fun and not as bad as I anticipated. Some members want to do it again next year, so that’s a good sign.”

Dave Gillespie, a youth worker with the YMCA said: “Between the seven of us we raised around £400 which will help towards the costs of this year’s competition which is as popular as ever.”

Jimmy Bonner from Kirkcaldy Rugby Club added: “This was my sixth dook now and it was very invigourating. We had members from teenagers to their 60s taking part for a very worthy cause.”

Other individuals and groups took part for other charities, with some just joining in for the fun.