Splashing into 2013!

dozens of dookers began 2013 with a splash as they plunged into the chilly waters of the River Forth on New Year’s Day for the Langtoun Loony Dook.

The dookers were piped for their long run into the water at the west end of Kirkcaldy Esplanade and the weather was bright and sunny as they were led in by John Rocks, father of Burntisland teenager Matthew Rocks, who the dook was dedicated to.

Courageous Matthew (19), lost a decade long battle with leukaemia in September last year, but his tremendous spirit and zest for life inspired his friends and family, many who took part to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

This year’s dook was arranged by Lochgelly woman Ann Belton after a break last year, and she and many of her family and friends took part.

She said: “We were very pleased with the turnout on the day and I would like to thank everyone who took part.”

Around 20 friends and family of former Kirkcaldy woman Mary Jane Davidson also participated to raise money for Edinburgh Infirmary’s special care baby unit, in memory of Mary Jane and husband John’s baby son Alfie who was born prematurely at the Simpson maternity unit and cared for by staff there.

Meanwhile, around 80 dookers took to the waves at Kinghorn Beach on New Year’s Day to banish Hogmanay hangovers and raise funds for Kinghorn’s RNLI Lifeboat.

The event was arranged following the success of the first dook, organised by lifeboat volunteer tractor driver Mark Gowans last year, which raised over £2500.

Dookers wearing everything from swimsuits to fancy dress costumes braved the cold for the worthy cause.

Over £1100 was raised on the day and further sponsorship is expected to take the total to around £1600.

Neil Chalmers, Kinghorn lifeboat press officer, said: “Once again we had great weather and an impressive turnout. The inaugural Loony Dook in 2012 was a resounding success, and this year the public support was even greater.”