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In Pictures: The annual Banff Loony Dook

By David Porter

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Swimmers of all ages from across the north-east headed to Banff Links on Saturday lunchtime for the 6th annual Banff Loony Dook.

Watched from the shore and the links by dozens of onlookers, the intrepid souls took to the waters under the watchful eye of the local Coastguard unit for the event.

And while there was a steady breeze blowing out to see from the shoreline, they could not have picked a better day for it as the UK recorded the warmest New Year's Day on record, with new high temperatures set for the second day in a row according to the Met Office.

St James's Park in central London saw temperatures of 16.2C (61.2F) on Saturday, caused in part by warm air from the Azores which has been reaching the UK in recent days, bringing unusually mild weather.

The previous New Year's Day record was set in 1916, when it reached 15.6C (60.1F) in Bude, Cornwall.

The Met Office said Scotland had also recorded its warmest New Year's Day temperature, which was 15.9C in Achnagart in the Highlands.

The previous record was 14.5C in Inverurie in 1992 and Banff was seeing around 12.5

Friday became the warmest New Year's Eve on record when it reached 16.5C in Bala, Gwynedd, north Wales.

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