FUNDRAISERS took to the ice-cold Thames Estuary to raise cash for Havens Hospices.

About 35 swimmers braved the freezing temperatures to take part in the annual ‘Dare to Dip’ on Ocean Beach, in Southend, with a pirate and a penguin among the fancy dress costumes.

It is thought the event, held on Sunday, will raise almost £7,000 for the charity.

Swimmer David Liney, 39, said: “It was freezing and the water was a bit choppy so we all ran in as fast as we could. It was all worth it - especially when we got inside and had a fry-up!”

Organiser Jason Curtis said: “It was a great family event and well done to everyone.