- Title: 1,500 take the plunge in Ostend New Year dive
- Date: 1st January 2017
- Summary: PARTICIPANTS WALKING ON BEACH
- Embargoed: 16th January 2017 15:38
- Keywords: Belgium North Sea new year's day tradition ocean dive Ostend sea
- Location: OSTEND, BELGIUM
- City: OSTEND, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Human Interest/Brights/Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0025X90IU1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Some 1,500 people kicked off the new year with a refreshing dive into a chilly North Sea on Sunday (January 1).
Braving the freezing winter temperatures, participants ran on Ostend beach to dive into the six-degree-celsius water, but most of them quickly got out of the sea and went back to their towels and dry clothes to keep warm.
Some participants made it a tradition to bathe in the North Sea at the beginning of each new year.
"It's very fun as a family trip, it's something you don't do every day, so that's why," said Noor, a Brussels resident, adding the dive was "cold but fun".
Thomas, a Polish tourist visiting Belgium for a few days, was delighted to experience this Belgian tradition.
"I have come to visit and surprisingly I am here. So, happy new year for all of you Belgians, great country, great culture," he said.
The first New Year dive in Ostend was organized back in 1987.
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