Although Covid-19 restrictions meant a dearth of organised New Year Dooks this year, many hardy souls still took to the water across Tayside and Fife to start 2021 afresh.
The typically busy Loony Dooks at Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn were both postponed until a later date, but that did not stop a number of people from braving the Firth of Forth nonetheless at locations up and down the coast.
Popular Fife spots were at St Andrews, Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn and Aberdour Silver Sands, ranging from families with youngsters dipping a toe in during a bracing New Year’s Day walk, to more adventurous souls going for a full-on swim in the freezing water.
Well-known local man Derek Davidson also jumped into the loch at Lochore Meadows Country Park to raise money for Benarty Fundraisers, smashing his £500 target with more than £700 in donations by the time he plunged into Loch Ore at noon.
“Lockdown has made it very difficult on everyone this year, especially the kids in our area, and the funds go to ensuring special treats are laid on for them during these trying times,” he said.
Meanwhile, Broughty Ferry saw only a few determined swimmers take to the water after the traditional New Year’s Day dook was cancelled this year.
A much quieter affair saw limited numbers brave the Tay estuary yesterday.
The famous event was called off for the first time in its almost-130-year history due to Covid-19 safety fears.
It usually attracts hundreds to the beach but this time the area was busy only with walkers.
Joyce McIntosh, organiser and life president of Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association, which organises the event, said she is glad most showed restraint.
She said: “I’m really pleased not many people did it this year.
“We made the decision to cancel it and it was the right one now we’ve seen how things have developed during the pandemic.
“We need to protect Ninewells Hospital and the NHS.”
She added: “A lot of charities are missing money from fundraisers doing the dook as well as other events, which is hard.
“It’s sad it couldn’t go ahead.
“This is my 43rd year. We’ve had ice, snow, and rain and it’s never put people off.
“This is part of history now and I’m sure we’ll make up for it when we can.”