Taking the plunge: thousands defy icy Baltic temperatures in cold-water swimming fest’

Thousands of people from all over Europe braved icy waters to take part in an international festival that culminated in a mass swim in the frigged waters of the Baltic Sea.

An estimated 6,000 people attended the 17th International Maritime Rally over the weekend in the coastal town of Mielno. Despite temperature being just 5 degrees Celsius and the water being a degree colder people in their droves took the plunge in a celebration of cold-water swimming.

Many donned fancy dress, giving the aquatic occasion a dash of colour, with space travel being the theme of the event. The oldest attendee was 84, while the youngest just three months.