Goose-bump gala: tens of thousands take icy Dutch dip

Costumed people get out of the North Sea during the New Year's Dive in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on Jan 1, 2017.
Costumed people get out of the North Sea during the New Year's Dive in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on Jan 1, 2017.PHOTO: EPA
People run towards the North Sea during the Nieuwjaarsduik in the Netherlands on Sunday.
People run towards the North Sea during the Nieuwjaarsduik in the Netherlands on Sunday.PHOTO: EPA
People from round the world brave the frigid waters of the North Sea for a traditional New Year's Dive in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on Jan 1, 2017.
People from round the world brave the frigid waters of the North Sea for a traditional New Year's Dive in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on Jan 1, 2017.PHOTO: EPA
People run for warmth after a dip in the North Sea in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on New Year's Day.
People run for warmth after a dip in the North Sea in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on New Year's Day.PHOTO: EPA

SCHEVENINGEN, Netherlands (AFP) - Tens of thousands of hardy souls, some dressed appropriately as superheroes, plunged into the icy waters of the North Sea on Sunday (Jan 1, 2017) as The Netherlands marked the New Year.

In the resort of Scheveningen, bathers donning caps with the national colour of orange strode into the waves at noon, many screeching as they encountered a water temperature of seven degrees Celsius and a white fog.

"It's a fresh and frisky way to start the New Year," exclaimed Mary Adriaensen, a 35-year-old swimmer from the eastern town of Arnhem, who stripped off a fake-fur outer layer to reveal a bikini.

The annual dip drew around 52,000 people to 142 sites in the Netherlands, according to the organisers.

Launched 57 years ago, it is firmly established on the tourism calendar, luring visitors from as far afield as Asia.