Scuba divers welcome new year with dip at Hinksey lake

Scuba divers welcome new year with dip at Hinksey lake

Divers swim in Hinksey lake on New Year's Day 2023 <i>(Image: Oxford Mail)</i>

Divers swim in Hinksey lake on New Year’s Day 2023 (Image: Oxford Mail)

As several woke up this morning gasping for water – regretting, potentially, owning overindulged on New Year’s Eve – a quintet of hardy souls identified them selves totally submerged in the lifetime-giving liquid.

A quick flash of a diver’s joined thumb and forefinger, signalling to those shoreside that all the things was ‘okay’, was the last glimpse of the dry-suited determine in advance of he disappeared into the brackish water of Hinksey Park’s lake – joined by four many others.

Instead than get pleasure from the New Year’s Working day lie-in indulged in by a lot of across the town, these divers were being getting portion in the now-standard January 1 dive at the south Oxford elegance spot.

Andy Pickering, president of the Oxford Scuba Diving Club and a person of 5 divers to brave the water on Sunday early morning, claimed: “It’s custom.”

“We’ve constantly completed the New Year’s Working day dive to provide us excellent luck via the 12 months, which occasionally operates,” he extra.

“It’s a superior start off to the year.”

Mr Pickering joked of the annual dive, which got underway immediately after midday: “It used to be 10 o’clock on New Year’s Day it’s been stretched a bit more.”

And the solution to finding the strength to drag oneself out of bed as New Year Working day dawns? “You do not get too enthusiastic on New Year’s Eve,” he stated. Pausing briefly, he additional: “I did go to mattress at 2.30am.”

Fairly mild climate greeted the New Year’s Day divers a much cry from former a long time, the place they have experienced to crack the ice on the water’s floor in order to dive.

Asked what temperature the drinking water could be, an additional of the divers signing up for Mr Pickering at the lake on Sunday joked that at minimum it ‘was liquid’.

The divers’ visibility underwater was expected to be very good. But any hope of locating sunken treasure in the lake, which is around four metres deep in sections, was unlikely – with stranded purchasing trolleys, targeted traffic cones and boats amid the sights awaiting the scuba divers.

As very well as the associates of the Oxford Scuba Diving Club and the Oxford University’s sub-aqua club, various dozen swimmers could be seen braving the chilly h2o at Hinksey in excess of the training course of the early morning.

Ga Burt, who swims in the open water with her mates a number of instances a 7 days, reported: “It’s a bit of enjoyable. It is New Year’s early morning – but we’re listed here. It’s begin the calendar year as you suggest to go on.”

This tale was penned by Tom Seaward. He joined the workforce in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court docket and criminal offense reporter.

To get in touch with him email: [email protected] kingdom

Adhere to him on Twitter: @t_seaward