BATHERS braved the icy seas in Holyhead to help people with cancer and a special little boy with a rare genetic condition.

About 20 people took part in this year’s annual charity New Year’s Day Newry beach dip.

Every year, money raised goes to to help local people, including nine-year-old Koren Jeffcoate, of Rhydwyn, near Llanfaethlu, who has a rare illness called Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

About 20 people, of all ages, took part in the chilly challenge, plunging into the sea, beside the Maritime Museum, cheered on by a crowd of about 100 spectators.

Two RNLI Holyhead lifeboat vessels, on scheduled exercises that morning, were moored nearby, to make sure there were no problems for swimmers or divers leaping from the Mackenzie Pier.

Organisers Shan Spencer and Islwyn Wyn Owen said to date about £350 had been raised.

Shan said: “It was a fantastic turn out, the best we’ve had. It was absolutely freezing but great fun! The money will be shared out, but a bigger part will go to Koren, who is having an operation in February. It will help with costs, for transport, food or treats, to help him or whatever he wants. We like to thank everyone who took part, especially to Penny and Doug Dunbarton, at the marina who opened up for us.”

Holyhead lifeboat coxswain Tony Price said: “They were braver souls than me.

“The water was very cold, there was a high tide and it was quite windy, but we were nearby and kept a watchful eye, just in case anyone got cold or cramps, but it all went well.”

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