New year opens with Polar Bear Swim

Organizers are urging participants to take proper precautions

CANDACE WU

 

news@pqbnews.com

 

Residents will once again have a chance to ring in 2014 with a refreshing dip in the ocean.

“It’s a great way to start off the year,” said aquatic programmer with the Regional District of Nanaimo, Anne Porteous.

The 24th annual Polar Bear Splash takes place Wednesday, Jan. 1. Registration opens at 11.30 a.m. with the swim slated for noon at Parksville Community Beach.

The event is free of charge.

Residents are welcome to come as participants, spectators or volunteers.

“The event has been growing since we started it in 1990,” said Porteous, adding that last year approximately 200 people came out to jump, with more than 100 spectating.

Porteous reminds participants to bring water shoes and extra towels for the event. Additionally, she cautions participants to be aware of their alcohol consumption the evening before the swim for safety reasons.

The Polar Bear Swim is organized by the RDN and supported by local services. As the safety of the swimmers is paramount, members of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue water rescue team will once again be in the water and on the beach to provide assistance and encouragement. Hot beverages and snacks will be available on a donation basis. Parksville Fire Department firefighters / first responders will also be present to provide on-shore medical-aid.

 

For more information call Ravensong Aquatic Centre at 250-752-5014.

 

 

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