Polar Bear Swim Jan. 1

Brave souls gird loins for annual chilly dip in the salt chuck

Cold enough for ya? The annual Polar Bear Swim in Parksville is always a crowd-pleaser.

Cold enough for ya? The annual Polar Bear Swim in Parksville is always a crowd-pleaser.

From the desk of Ravensong Aquatic Centre Aquatic Manager Anne Porteous a reminder the 21st annual RDN Polar Bear Swim is fast approaching.

Slated to start at high noon Sunday, Jan. 1, the yearly New Year’s plunge down at Parksville Bay has become a popular tradition in these parts.

“Last year, between 80 and 100 people of all ages took part in the event with at least another hundred friends, relatives and spectators present to offer encouragement, applause, and possibly a warm, dry towel at the end,” said Porteous.

Because the safety of the swimmers is paramount, she adds, members of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue water rescue team will also be in the water to provide assistance — not to mention encouragement — for anyone who may get into difficulty.

Hot beverages and snacks will be available on a donation basis.

Firefighters and first responders from the Parksville Fire Department will also be present to provide any necessary medical aid on shore.

“With safety in mind, participants in the swim are being reminded to be careful of their alcohol consumption the evening before the swim, and remember to bring a towel, to stand on while changing into warm, dry clothes.”

Registration gets underway at 11:30 a.m.