Dare to bare? Whitburn woman’s plea for record-breaking skinny dippers

Jacqueline Higginson braves the freezing North Sea to promote her forthcoming skinny dipping event.
Jacqueline Higginson braves the freezing North Sea to promote her forthcoming skinny dipping event.
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NAKED swimmers are urgently needed for a record-breaking skinny dip in the North Sea.

Sunderland paramedic Jacqueline Higginson is organising the North East Skinny Dip this weekend but needs more people to pledge to take the plunge.

Jacqueline, 34, needs more than 414 people to take part in the event at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, at sunrise on Saturday to smash the world record.

And the health worker, of Whitburn, is hoping to raise at least £2,000 through the event for mental health charity, Mind.

Jacqueline took part in a previous Guinness World record dip last year in Wales and loved it so much she wanted to bring it to the North East.

She said: “It was just an amazing experience.

“It was liberating and empowering but it was really exciting as well.

“Running into the water with others doing the skinny dip was a unique experience.

“The day is also the autumn equinox, the transition from summer to winter.

“I cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate the summer and welcome the winter than stripping down to skin and running wild and free into the North Sea.”

Jacqueline said the event is in no way a best body competition and people of all shapes and sizes will be taking part, so no-one should be put off by embarrassment.

She said: “It is just a celebration of the human body and accepting of it.

“It is very freeing, a really special thing to do.”

Jacqueline said people just have to pledge £10 to the charity and participants are expected to strip off and then wade into the sea at least up to their waists for the challenge.

She said: “I know from personal experience and through my job how much mental health issues affect people.

“Mind is a really good charity which isn’t given the recognition is should be.

“I would like to use the opportunity to increase awareness of mental health issues.

“Mind doesn’t mind us stripping naked to raise some money for it and is happy to attach the charity to the event.”

A regular sea swimmer, Jacqueline said there is no pressure on people to take part if they change their mind, but added: “Anyone who comes along on the day and feels what the atmosphere is like, is going to join in.”

Entry is £10. For further information on the event, visit www.northeastskinnydip.co.uk.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho