Record attempt or sex offence

28 July 2014

When 744 swimmers took off their clothes and plunged into the sea off the New Zealand coast last year, the world’s largest co-ordinated skinny dip made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

When two men attempted the same in Crawfordsburn, County Down last week they were threatened with inclusion in a markedly different volume: the sex offenders’ register.

In what campaigners called a gross example of “pushing the prudery bandwagon”, the case of the “Belfast Lough Two” has been passed to the public prosecutor’s office for a decision on whether they should be charged with indecent exposure.

Pictures appeared on social media last week showing a man emerging from the sea with his hands over his privates to be greeted by two (fully clothed) police officers.

“NOT a good idea, we are treating this kind of behaviour extremely seriously and will be continuing to take action against anyone who decides to do the same,” said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on Facebook.

“There are young children in these areas too. You could end up with a Criminal Record and placed on the Sex Offender Register.”