WHILE most people were still in bed this morning a group of intrepid divers braved the cold for an annual tradition – and even came back with an old bike.

Seven divers from the Oxford branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club went for a dip in Hinksey Lake in a New Year’s Day tradition that goes back more than 60 years.

Over the years they have found all manner of items in the lake including a pram, a moped and even a Mini.

After battling the elements and the cold for the best part of half an hour, Chris Stevens and Martin Baldwin returned to the surface with a bike.

Dr Stevens, who lives in Wootton, near Abingdon, said: “Diving is like a mini adventure really and it’s a great way to start the year.

“We hope the rest of the dives throughout the year will be better but it’s starting as we mean to go on.

He added: “Visibility was poor but we did see a lot of crayfish and some freshwater shrimps – and of course the bike that someone had thrown in.”

Martin Baldwin, from Holton, joined the club last year and today was his first New Year’s Day dive.

He said: “It was great fun, I only joined nine months ago and it’s seen as a sort of initiation.

“We were lucky to bump into the bike and managed to get it out.”

For the rest of the year the branch train in the pool at Radley College and head to places such as Weymouth, Northern Ireland and Plymouth.