A Tug O’War and Boxing Day Dip raised more than £2,200 for the RNLI’s lifesaving work in Wirral.

While many people may have been sleeping off Christmas dinner, hundreds of intrepid swimmers made their way to West Kirby Marine Lake to take part in a Boxing Day Dip organised by the Underground Training Station (UTS).

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Hundreds of Boxing Day dippers take to the chilly waters. Picture: RNLI/West Kirby RNLI

The Hoylake-based gym has organised the chilly morning challenge for several years and it has become increasingly popular.

West Kirby RNLI's D-class lifeboat Seahorse was launched to oversee and support the daring dippers taking to the water.

The event raised an impressive £704.56 on the day, with many more donations from participants made to the RNLI online.

Later that morning, volunteers from Hoylake RNLI lifeboat crew took on a team from Hoylake Sailing Club in the annual Slater Trophy Tug O'War, which made a welcome return after its cancellation in 2020.

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Both teams, picture: RNLI/ Victoria Phipps

The Hoylake RNLI team was victorious against the sailing club, winning in two straight pulls, and were presented with the competition's coveted Slater Trophy – a small teapot that bears the name of the winning side stretching back for nearly 50 years.

Hundreds of spectators (pictured, below) attended the event to cheer on both teams and donate to the RNLI, with funds raised on the day totalling an incredible £1,580.24.

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Further donations were made online by supporters watching from around the UK and overseas on the event's live stream.

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The Slater Trophy – a small polished teapot – was presented to the Hoylake RNLI team after their Tug o’War victory. Picture: Photo: RNLI/ Dan Whiteley

West Kirby RNLI lifeboat operations manager Richard Diamond said: "We would like to thank everyone who supported the Boxing Day Dip and who gave a donation either in person or online.

"Your ongoing support of the work of the RNLI and all those who volunteer is hugely appreciated.

"2021 has presented us with fundraising challenges but we are overwhelmed by people's ongoing generosity."

After the Tug o'War, Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said: "It was fantastic for our volunteer crew to be able to take part in this event again and both teams gave it their all.

"Thank you to the sailing club for a great competition and to everyone who turned out to support us.

"We're blown away by the generosity of our community in funding our lifesaving work.

"We hope to see you at next year’s Tug O'War, which will be the event’s 50th anniversary."

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The Hoylake Sailing Club team heave on the rope in the second pull of the tournament. Picture: Photo: RNLI/ Victoria Phipps

This winter the RNLI is asking for support from the public to help its crews in their mission to save every one. Donations can be made to Hoylake and West Kirby RNLI through the lifeboat stations’ JustGiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/HoylakeWestKirbyRNLI2021.

More information on the RNLI’s Christmas appeal can be found at RNLI.org/Christmas.