A RECORD-breaking shoal of brave festive fundraisers braved freezing waters for a traditional Boxing Day dip.

Former children's TV star Timmy Mallett helped attract a record number of dippers for the Rhyl RNLI event. Swimmers rushed into the sea dressed as everything from bananas to lobsters.

Prize, for best fancy dress, was won by Ella Griffiths who was dressed as Timmy Mallett.

More than 230 hardy souls plunged into the chilly Irish waters - some, of which, stayed in for more than 30 minutes.

Timmy Mallett did the countdown with Cllr Win Mullen-James. He posted this video on his Twitter. Video: Timmy Mallett/Twitter

About £2,000 was raised on the day for the town's new Shannon Class All-Weather Lifeboat.

Cllr Win Mullen-James, who did the countdown with Timmy, said: "It was a fantastic turnout. There was 234 in the water, which is an increase on last year. Some stayed in for 27 minutes. One man has a river at the bottom of his garden so he wasn't phased, he was prepared.

"I was going to dip my toe in the water but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.


Steve Fenner, of Artisans Collective in Prestatyn. Picture: Chris Porteous

"Timmy [Mallet] was so interested. He was so enthusiastic and wonderful with the children. He was staying in Hawarden and he was looking to see if anything was going on for Boxing Day and realised that funds were being raised for the new lifeboat.

"He wasn't one of those precious celebrities, he was warm and really involved with everything and enjoyed a chat."


Costumes included a banana and red lobster. Picture: Chris Porteous

Before the dip, crowds were asked to pay their respects with a round of applause for much loved Rhyl Lifeboat crew volunteer Ben Hirst who died on Saturday, December 22.

Ben, 35, was described as a popular member of the lifeboat crew at Rhyl. He was affectionately nicknamed 'Ding-Dong' after one of the crew referred to him as 'Big Ben'.

Cllr Mullen-James added: "The event was tinged with sadness over Ben but we had our recognition for him. He was a very talented guy."

Andrew Wilde, Rhyl Lifeboat crew member and one of the organisers, said: "This year’s Festive Dip has been a poignant one for the crew after the sudden passing of Ben, we would like to thank everyone for their tribute to him today.


More than 230 hardy souls raced into the sea. Picture: Chris Porteous

"With the record numbers taking part this year we have already seen more than £2000 raised towards the towns new lifeboat at the event, with more donations still to come in. This really is a fantastic effort by the community."