Sun, beach and 10 degrees. Beautiful beach weather and ideal conditions for a New Year’s dive as it was held in various places in Groningen. Like in Blauwestad, where at least 150 people ran into the Oldambtmeer on Sunday.

    “The water has a temperature of 8 degrees. It’s easy to do”, says Herma Baas of the organizing Winschoter swimming club and rescue brigade GZVW.

    The third edition of the dive attracted a lot of attention: hundreds of people were thickly wrapped to watch the people taking a New Year’s dive. A band provided cheerful tunes.

    The organization had prepared itself well for the spectacle. There were trailers for dressing and undressing, divers in wetsuits stood in the water and first aid was available.

    One did a warm-up, the other only threw off a thick bathrobe at the end, but they all rushed into the water after the countdown and came out with their teeth chattering. ,,It is still colder than expected”, says Simon Keizer from Winschoten, who is participating for the third time. “We are with a group of friends. And all but one of us go into the water. It’s a new tradition. After a solid New Year’s Eve, still fresh and fruity into the water. With the start of the new year comes a New Year’s dive. Next year again.”