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

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

Ladysmith gas prices spike over night to 151.9 per litre

A provincial inquiry found B.C. drivers pay a 13 percent premimum compared to other provinces

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

Ladysmith author wins American award for her new children’s book: The Moon Watched it All

Shelley Leedahl’s book took gold in the All Ages Picture Book category

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

LETTER: Middle class better off with Trudeau’s child benefit boost

It’s a transfer, not a tax cut, but it helps families get ahead

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Most Read