Annual Duck Dive 20 years on 
and still going bet!

Splash of the Day: The Duck Dive is 20 years old this year.
Splash of the Day: The Duck Dive is 20 years old this year.

The annual Portstewart Duck Dive was first conceived back in the early eighties by a local supporter called George McCann.

Sitting in a bar, George bet a friend that he would jump into the sea on St Patrick’s Day when the water temperature is about eight degrees.

George performed the challenge and then organised the annual event which became known as the “Duck Dive”.

It is traditionally performed in fancy dress or swimming togs on St Patrick’s Day.

It is with great sadness to record that one of the original organising team, Len (‘Old Sea Dog’) Forbes has passed away since last year’s event, but the show goes on as he would have wished.

Sponsorship money collected by participants goes to the Portrush Lifeboat Station which supports both a Severn Class and a D Class vessel.

Prizes kindly donated by local businesses for the best costumes, are awarded after the event at the Duck Dive Party at Shenanigan’s complex in Portstewart where there is free Irish stew for the divers and live music.

There will also be the usual raffle with numerous prizes, again donated by local businesses.

The amount of money raised has increased from a few hundred pounds in the early days of the event to several thousands in recent years with the total amount raised over recent years exceeding £60,000.

The fun event usually attracts a big crowd of spectators - family and friends - to cheer on the jumpers. Let’s make 2015 a big one!