MORE and more women in Ayrshire are taking the plunge and spending their free time swimming in open water.

Every night of the week the Wild Sea Women can be seen taking a dip at Irvine, Ayr, Prestwick and West Kilbride beaches.

Set up last year, the group sees women spend time in the open waters of Ayrshire enjoying the health benefits of cold water therapy.

Leading the wild women was Vicki Rogers, a yoga teacher from Kilmarnock who has been dipping for five months.

And for Friday’s dip Vicki had asked the 15 swimmers to don a dress for the occasion.

“I went along to a local beach for a dip with a friend. I then found the WSW group and quickly became a regular dipper. I now dip on average three times a week,” beamed Vicki.

“I feel stronger after every swim and I feel the resilience that the dipping builds is incredible. I always say that if you can walk into the cold sea, you can achieve anything. It challenges your negative or limiting beliefs, particularly the ones about yourself and your capabilities. Out there nothing matters.

“You leave your ‘stuff’ on the beach”.

While wild swimming on your own has its risks, the group offers the reassurance of safety, putting swimmers at ease.

Pamela Kirk from Ayr has been sea swimming since a very cold December dip and now, spends her days off in the water and has found the mental health benefits just as important as the exercise involved.

“I was feeling lost with the gyms being closed during lockdown and thought I would give it a go,” said Pamela.

“I was nervous right up until I met the other women in the group and they were so supportive, walking into the water wasn’t as scary as I feared and I was hooked, it has been great for my mental health and is a real boost.”

If you fancy taking the plunge with the Wild Sea Women find them on Facebook at Wild Sea Women Ayrshire or at the website