Hundreds strip off at sunrise for mass skinny dip in the North Sea

Nude awakening! Hundreds strip off at sunrise for mass skinny dip in the North Sea to mark the arrival of the Autumn Equinox this week

  • More than 800 men and women stripped down in Druridge Bay to enjoy a naked frolic in the North Sea
  • The dip, which has become an annual event since it launched in 2012, raises money for mental health charity 
  • Members of the local coastguard rescue team stood by as a precaution as the skinny dippers entered water

By Henry Martin For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

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Hundreds of skinny dippers gathered in Northumberland today to celebrate the arrival of the autumn equinox. 

More than 800 men and women of all ages stripped down in Druridge Bay to enjoy a naked frolic in the North Sea at sunrise for the ninth annual North East Skinny Dip (NEDS) this morning. 

Before the dip, participants gathered in groups on the beach and were entertained by a fire-eating dancer.

Members of the local coastguard rescue team stood by as a precaution as the skinny dippers entered the water but no medical issues arose during the dip.

The dip, which has become an annual event since it launched in 2012, takes donations and raises money for the mental health charity MIND. 

Participants in the annual North East Skinny Dip walk the beach in Druridge Bay, Britain, September 19, 2021

More than 800 men and women of all ages stripped down in Druridge Bay to enjoy a naked frolic in the North Sea at sunrise for the ninth annual North East Skinny Dip (NEDS) this morning

Before the dip, participants gathered in groups on the beach and were entertained by a fire-eating dancer

The event takes place each year to mark the autumn equinox – which this year will arrive on Wednesday. 

In 2019 more than 700 people attended, but 2020’s event did not go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions.   

Organiser Jax Higginson, 43, took part herself and said she has raised over £80,000 for MIND since the event started.

Jax said: ‘Everything was spectacular and it all went swimmingly. We had at least 820 dippers although the final number is yet to be announced.

‘Everybody just rocks up, does their thing and takes the risk and creates a really unique experience.

‘We actually had more pledgers than participants which is really nice, we’re going to have a big fundraising year and I think we’re going to hit £20,000 for MIND this year.

The dip, which has become an annual event since it launched in 2012, takes donations and raises money for the mental health charity MIND

The event takes place each year to mark the autumn equinox – which this year will arrive on Wednesday

Organiser Jax Higginson, 43, took part herself and said she has raised over £80,000 for MIND since the event started

The event takes place annually on the final Sunday before Autumn Equinox, which occurs this year on Wednesday

‘Since 2012 we’ve raised over £80,000 for mental health which is a big number.’

The event takes place annually on the final Sunday before Autumn Equinox, which occurs this year on Wednesday.

Jax, an artist from Sunderland, added: ‘There’s a few reasons for doing it when we do – one because we like to celebrate the transition from summer to winter and appreciating the summer we’ve had and welcoming the winter.

‘The other reason is because the water is warmer, you don’t want to leave it too long.’

Like many other charity events, the group have had to wait two years to take part again as a result of the pandemic but she believed today was worth the wait.

The 43-year-old artist added: ‘We couldn’t meet last year and you could really feel that on the beach this morning, people were really excited to be back and connecting with other humans.

‘There were lots of newbies and lots of regulars, all very happy dippers.

‘It was really mild today, sometimes it’s freezing and people can’t stay in the water too long but everybody has commented on how warm the water was and there was a lot of laughing.

‘It’s wonderful that it’s accessible and people with wheelchairs and less able people are also here as well lots of families and children – I appreciate that and I’m very happy about it.’

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