Wet and wild start to 2020
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.’