More than 350 swimmers braved the chilly temperatures and took a bracing dip in The Solent for the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) New Year’s Day Swim

The hundreds of swimmers dressed up as their favourite characters, which  included Superman, Spiderman, The Grinch and Santa Claus, to take part in GAFIRS’ New Year’s Day charity swim at Stokes Bay, Gosport.

Man dressed as Spiderman at the GAFIRS' New Year's Day Swim

Even Gosport’s mayor Cllr Diane Furlong and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Lee Mason, took part in the annual chilly tradition.

Swimmers at the GAFIRS' New Year's Day Swim

GAFIRS community director James Baggott said: “In total we had more than 350 swimmers enter the water in a fantastic array of fancy dress outfits raising money for some 32 different charities.

“It was superb to see so many people take the plunge in the Solent. I watched from the comfort of my dry suit on the lifeboat, and that was chilly enough, so I hate to think how cold it was in trunks!”

GAFIRS handed out an award to the best fancy dress on the day which went to a man dressed as The Grinch.

Swimmers at the GAFIRS' New Year's Day Swim

Event organiser Jake Robinson added: “We’re delighted so many people turned up on the day and special thanks must go to Gosport Fire Station for providing hot showers, The Fighting Cocks pub for providing food and drinks and Hillhead Coastguard Rescue Team for their support.”

In total, GAFIRS attended 92 different incidents in 2018.