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Wet and wild start to 2020

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RESIDENTS of all ages on Alderney had a wet and wild start to 2020 with the traditional fire brigade ‘squirt’ followed by a Polar plunge at Braye.

New Year’s Day is traditionally when the volunteer fire brigade tests out its pumping equipment using the water-filled cattle trough in Marais Square.

Now each New Year at 11am, firefighters arrive in the square in a blaze of sirens and flashing lights and invite children to have a look around their vehicles. Then the fun begins in earnest.

Yesterday, children dared each other to run within squirting distance of fire hoses and get a soaking, while others were unceremoniously dunked in the trough.

Since a ‘safe zone’ was established last year, many more turned up to enjoy the spectacle.

At midday, Braye Beach was became the focus of the fun. On a misty day, around 40 people – and triple the number of people looking on – plunged into flat calm sea braving a water temperature of about 10C.

Swimmers wished each other a Happy New Year amid the shrieks and warmed up with a hot toddy later at the Braye Beach Hotel.

Veteran new year swimmer Moira Sleeman said: ‘It was bracing, to say the least, but it wasn’t really that bad. I’ve been in quite a few times in December.

‘It’s the perfect way to start off the new year.’

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