A MAYOR raised a few eyebrows when he rushed into the chilly Irish waters wearing his 'chain' - but not all was as it seemed!

Cllr Anton Sampson joined more than 200 hardy souls in Rhyl to take on the Boxing Day dip. The countdown to the dip was carried out by cllr Win Mullen-James and TV personality Timmy Mallett.

At first, it appeared the Prestatyn mayor was wearing his mayoral chains, worth thousands of pounds. A second glance revealed this wasn't the case and it was in fact a replica which the councillor created himself.

Rhyl Journal:

Cllr Anton Sampson, mayor of Prestatyn, lasted 15 minutes in the chilly waters. Picture: Chris Porteous 

Cllr Sampson said: "I made a fake one [chain]. A dodgy Blue Peter style replica of the mayoral chain. This saved any potential damage or loss to the original. It was also out of respect for what it signifies.

"The dip was refreshing. I wanted to be the last one in the water but there were a couple of battle hardened free swimmers out there. I made a hasty retreat after 15 mins."

Some dippers managed to last about 30 minutes. Cllr Sampson joked that a hot shower was "most welcome" after the event.

He added: "The weather was fantastic and mild. This, unfortunately, didn't transfer to the sea. It was a shock to the system.

"One of the highlights was having a chat with Timmy Mallett who was a genuinely warm and nice guy."

The RNLI is cllr Sampson's chosen charity.

"The day also had a sobering tone as a huge round of applause was dedicated to Ben Hirst [RNLI Rhyl crew member] who tragically passed away several days previously," he said.