Despite the wind, snow and overcast skies, 28 swimmers and more than 60 spectators lined the shore to take the frozen dip into Shuswap Lake on Jan. 1, carrying on the annual tradition of the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim. The swimmers made a mad dash for the water as the clock struck 10:30, and most left as quickly as they came to get back on shore and bundle up on account of the below-zero temperatures. The swim is hosted by the Salmon Arm Waves Masters and Selkirks swim clubs.(Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Video: Swimmers dive into Shuswap Lake for annual Polar Bear Swim

New Year’s Day tradition continues as 28 swimmers brave the cold water

The snow began to fall with a little more vigour, and the wind stirred the waters of Shuswap Lake under dreary, grey skies, but that didn’t stop close to 30 dedicated swimmers from joining in the annual tradition of braving the frigid lake waters on the morning of Jan. 1 for the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim.

Related: Swimmers brave frigid Shuswap waters

A total of 28 swimmers and more than 60 spectators flocked to the Canoe Beach Boat Launch on New Year’s Day, gathering close to the shore and waiting eagerly for 10:30 a.m. and the signal to rush into the lake. Some swimmers went all out, rushing in and diving headlong into the water, while others were more cautious and waded slowly up to their chests before making a quick exit.

(Mike Simpson/Big Sky Aerial)

Afterwards, swimmers bundled up in their winter clothes and gathered close with friends and family to get some warmth back into their bones, before heading home to begin 2019.

The event was hosted by the Salmon Arm Waves Masters and the Columbia Shuswap Selkirks swim clubs.


 

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An aerial view of the swimmers braving the cold waters of Shuswap Lake during the 2019 Polar Bear Swim, taken with a drone. (Mike Simpson/Big sky Aerial)

Swimmers towel off and get warm and dry after taking a dip into the frigid waters of Shuswap Lake Jan. 1 for the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

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