A total of 82 hardy souls took the plunge for a Christmas Day Dip in the waters of Ilfracombe Harbour for the RNLI.

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The event was organised by open water swimmer Tessa McLean, with kind permission from harbourmaster Georgina Carlo-Paat and support from volunteers, including several kayakers for safety.

The inaugural event has so far raised £1,083 for Ilfracombe RNLI, smashing the target Tessa had set.

It is hoped this will kick start the fundraising for the much-needed new D-Class inshore lifeboat for Ilfracombe.

Tessa said: "Nearly everyone turned up in either fancy dress or at least very Christmassy headwear and no one seemed to mind that the water was a bracing 10.1 degrees.

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

"The kayaks were in place to ensure no one strayed too far out of the harbour and everyone had a fantastic time with everyone saying 'See you next year!'"

There was even a prize (donated by Tessa) for the best fancy dress. Anne and Paul Flavell judged this and decided that Jackie Gough's Victorian swimming belle was the best on the day.

There were crowds on the beach and all around the quay to watch the madness unfold, as well as people watching from houses overlooking the harbour.

Tessa said she was overwhelmed at the turnout despite the event being organised at short notice and thanked all those who took part or supported the event.

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLIThe Ilfracombe Christmas Day Dip to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. Picture: Neil Perrin/RNLI

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw

The Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki BradshawThe Christmas Day Dip at Ilfracombe Harbour. Picture: Nikki Bradshaw