SOME call them brave, others think they are slightly mad.

But the Bournemouth Spartans took to the freezing waters for their annual Christmas Day swim.

Around 40 members of the group made the dip at Boscombe, watched by several hundred onlookers.

The Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts was on hand to lend his support and judge the fancy dress competition.

Chairman of the Spartans, Dave O’Donnell said: “It was pretty rough but everyone had a good time and seemed to enjoy themselves.”

He added: “It seems to have become a bit of a tradition for many people to come along and watch us go in.”

The Spartans have been going since 1951 and Dave joined in 1962.

“Hopefully I have got a few years left in me yet,” he said.

“We have lost a few members but a lot of new ones have come through recently so we are in quite a good position.”

The oldest member is Jack Willmott who is in his mid 90s.

Anyone interested in joining the Spartans can ring Dave on 01202 518284