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400 take icy plunge in Edinburgh's Dook

UPI News Service, 01/01/2007 

About 400 people turned out on New Year's Day for the 21st annual Loony Dook -- a brief swim in the icy waters of the Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Dook aims to raise money for charity and provide a cure for hangovers, but some participants took warming glasses of Scotch into the Forth with them, The Scotsman reported.

This year's turnout -- a record -- included some who had come from summery Australia and South Africa. Nathan Thomas, who came with his friend Josh Smith from Melbourne, said he was starting to regret the trip because his toes were freezing.

Many of the swimmers were costumed -- dressed as the Loch Ness monster, a can of Spam and Saddam Hussein, complete with noose.

Suzanne Smith, Katrina Henderson and Suzanne Scott -- all 21 and all from Edinburgh -- wore grass skirts over bikinis.

"You only live once and we decided we wanted to do something a bit different," Scott said. "But there were six of us who were originally going to do it -- the other three chickened out when they saw the weather."

A crowd of several thousand watched the swimmers parade down South Queensferry's High Street and into the Forth.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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