Brave bunch take the plunge at Oreti

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SEEMINGLY by chance, the sun came out especially for those brave enough to take a dip in Foveaux Strait last Saturday.

About 40 people headed to Oreti Beach, outside of Invercargill, to partake in Southland’s More FM’s event, The Polar Plunge.

The mid-winter swimmers came from near and far, with people heading to the event from as far away as Gore.

Before facing the cool water, Millique Paillandi (13), of Invercargill, said she was excited to take part in the event.

“It’s not too bad now, it’s quite warm… we’re going to get our heads under, that’s the goal.”

She attended the event with her friend Katie Ellis (13), and both said they were nervous to run into the cold sea.

Costumes were encouraged and varied from the popular tutu, to the equally favoured coloured wigs.

Polar plungee Ruby Grant (4) enjoyed the dip in the chilly sea, and her mum said she had been excited about the event – the family headed down from Gore for the day and arrived just in time to take part.

Dressed as a bumblebee, Ruby showed little sign of discomfort in the cold water and had fun splashing around in the little waves.

Prizes were given to the best dressed, and young Ruby claimed the title of bravest swimmer.

Originally intended to be held a few weekends before, the event had to be postponed because of bad weather.

According to MetService, the temperature in Invercargill was 12 degrees when the event kicked off at noon.

As a fundraiser for Oreti Surf Life Saving, entry for the intrepid individuals was a gold coin donation.

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