KIND-HEARTED Costa del Sol residents have taken a Boxing Day splash to raise money for an operation to save a young man’s hand.
The inaugural Sabi Spartan Boxing Day Swim, organised by the Duquesa Charitable Society of St George, saw 10 brave souls peel off before diving into the pounding Mediterranean surf to raise more than €800.
All proceeds go towards the €9,000 cost of an operation in Barcelona to save the hand of 18-year-old Cristóbal Pineda Rodríguez, an Andalucian rock climbing champion from Manilva suffering from a rare wrist disease.
His family are desperately trying to raise funds before the operation can go ahead on December 29.
Manilva Councillor Dean Tyler Shelton said: “This local lad ended up with a degenerative bone problem that is going to affect his life, his hobby, his job and everything he does.
“We can work towards getting him the op he needs.”
Limbering up outside Fathoms bar, event orgainser Gary Jackson-Smith revealed the concept behind his costume.
“It’s an English country gent dipping in the Med,” he said.
“What I didn’t realise was that was 1930. It’s now 2015 and I am probably in fear of a heart attack.”
Fellow event organiser Ian Ewing said: “We used to do a Spartan Swim every Boxing Day at home in Bournemouth.
“I used to suggest doing one here and people said, ‘You’re mad’, but we got Gary involved.”
His mother, 74-year old Wendy Ewing, has been a Spartan sea swimmer since 1978.
Wendy said: “It’s not a cold wind today and the sea felt quite warm.
“I’m just going to do a few strokes and hope I come out!”
Alongside her, Angus McGregor revealed he opted out of donning less modest swimming attire.
“I was going to wear my speedos but the budgie would disappear in that water. So I’ve got shorts instead,” he said.
Matt Dent, a member of the Costa Gaels Gaelic football team, said all his teammates are backing the charitable appeal.
“All the players are going to put something towards it. He’s only a young kid,” he said.
“If you can’t get €9,000 together at Christmas it’s never going to happen.”
Anyone wishing to contribute towards Cristobal’s operation can donate money to this account: Unicaja ES51 2103 0176 03 0010051657.