Ladysmith polar bear swim will take place this Sunday

This Sunday, Transfer Beach will be the proverbial baptism grounds for dozens of Ladysmith residents looking for a fresh start.

This Sunday, Transfer Beach will be the proverbial baptism grounds for dozens of Ladysmith residents looking for a fresh start. The traditional Polar Bear Swim will take place on the first day of 2012, and organizers say thrill seekers can expect the same bone-chilling fun as in years past.

“It’s shock therapy,” says Lois Walkling, the town’s aquatics supervisor. “They freeze out the old and get ready for the new.”

At noon, participants ranging from pre-elementary age to mid-80s will dash into the freezing cold waters of the Ladysmith Harbour. Hot chocolate, ribbons, certificates and a roaring bonfire will await them on the shore.

“It’s a fun, silly thing people do to challenge each other … some may be with a little bit of a hangover, but lots without as well,” Walkling said. “We tote is as being the first and fastest event of the year. All of our special events usually go on two to four hours — this one lasts 30 seconds.”

About 52 people attended the 2011 Polar Bear swim. The first swim was in 1988, after a group of friends including Parks and Rec employee Kate Glenn, decided to take a New Year’s dip at Transfer.

Since then, the event has grown, attracting as many as 150 participants.

As is tradition, some participants will show up in costume or in bikinis to show off their (not-so-tanned) winter tans.

“We have everybody from over-dressed to under-dressed, but definitely dressed,” Walkling said. “We have people in costumes and people just with their clothes or bathing suits on.”

The Ladysmith Coast Guard Auxiliary will be on hand to supervise the event on the water, while a certified lifeguard will keep an eye on the festivities from the shore.

This year, for the first time, there will be a donation bin for attendees wishing to make a contribution to the food bank.

Registration for the swim starts at 11 a.m. Call the community centre at 250-245-6424 for more information.

Just Posted

Rock or BB gun? Ladysmith RCMP probe Mercedes-Benz with shattered window

An investigation by Ladysmith RCMP is no closer to solving how the… Continue reading

Cultural Arts Society considering Chemainus Foods space for a regional arts centre

Vacant building could house traveling art exhibits, accommodate workshops and more

UPDATED: Ladysmith receives federal funding to remove abandoned vessels

Capital Regional District shares in $1.3-million announced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau

Ladysmith committee makes tough decisions in approving $57K in Grants in Aid

Ladysmith’s Municipal Services Committee was handed the tough task on Monday night… Continue reading

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

Most Read