Slideshow: Hardy ‘dippers’ take the plunge at Brown’s Bay

More than a hundred hardly souls took the plunge as part of two New Year’s Day charity “dips” at Brown’s Bay.

This year’s event was a dual fundraiser, generating much-needed cash for both the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and cancer charity Marie Curie.

Joanne Phillips and her daughters, Morgan and Melissa, take to the water in support of both charities and in memory of Joanne's friend, Diane Gibson. INCT 01-201-AM

Joanne Phillips and her daughters, Morgan and Melissa, take to the water in support of both charities and in memory of Joanne's friend, Diane Gibson. INCT 01-201-AM

The Hospice dip, which normally takes place at County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead, this year merged with the Brown’s Bay event in memory of Erin Bonar.

A pupil of Whitehead Primary School, Erin passed away last year after a sudden illness.

The five-year-old, who was an organ donor, inspired the superhero theme behind the Hospice event.

Erin’s mum, Susan Bonar said: “It was such a wonderful tribute to our selfless little superhero Erin. There was a beautiful release of balloons by the children before countless people, young and old, braved the cold water dressed as superheroes.

“The support for our family and love shown for Erin has been amazing, with over £7,000 being raised for the NI Children’s Hospice - a fantastic achievement by everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, those taking part in the dip for Marie Curie raised over £1,150 for the charity, with further funds yet to come in.

Organiser Gavan McGibbon said: “We’re already looking towards the tenth dip next year and we’re aiming to make the anniversary a special community event.”

For photos from the event, see this week’s Carrick Times.