Hardy Gavin

A YOUNG Shetland man has restated the case that the far north produces Scotland’s hardiest men after filming himself going for a dip in the freezing Atlantic Ocean on a nice autumn day.

Gavin Bell calls the exercise the best way to cure a hangover, but it is also about getting out of his own comfort zone.

The 23 year old, who is originally from Lerwick but now lives in Edinburgh, has a long history of sea swimming at unseasonal times, including on Christmas Day.

He said he had heard about the large rock pool near the village of Hamnavoe, on the island of Burra, where in days gone by school children learned to swim.

“I had heard rumours about the place but I had never seen it. So I asked around and then went to check it out for myself,” he said.

“It was freezing, I was in there for about 15 minutes, that is swimming, then moving the camera, and then jumping in again.

“I was shivering for a good half hour afterwards,” he said.

“But I wanted to check the place out, I like to go into the sea anyway, and I like a challenge and pushing my own comfort zone. I also like putting a smile on people’s faces.”

But he added that it was “probably” not advisable for other people to follow his example: “It was freezing, and quite rough as well.”