Hundreds of naked British swimmers plunged into the cold North Sea on Saturday but failed to set a world record for the biggest ever skinny dip, organisers said.

Around 200 people ran into the sea at sunrise at Druridge Bay in Northumberland, northeast England, where water temperatures were around 12 C.

Organiser Jacqueline Higginson, 34, said that while the charity event had raised thousands of pounds for the mental health group Mind, it had failed to reach the necessary number of participants.

Higginson said they "ran naked into the sea to raise money for Mind and to celebrate ourselves and our bodies.

"I did a skinny dip last year where we broke the world record, I don't think there was enough to do it today but there was enough of us for it to be a lot of fun," she said.

The record-setting event in Llangennith, Wales in June 2011 involved 413 people.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]