Corrianne Henson of Penticton exits the frigid waters of Okanagan Lake Monday during the annual Summerland Kinsmen New Year’s Day Polar Bear Dip. Mark Brett/Western News

Polar bear dippers rise to the occasion in Penticton

One hundred brave souls take the plunge New Year’s Day

With the thermometer reading a balmy -7 degrees C and the shoreline waters of Okanagan Lake checking in at 0, about 100 brave souls took the plunge Monday in the 33rd annual Summerland Kinsmen Club Polar Bear Dip.

“I’m calling it the best of the worst feelings,” said club president Blair Gillingham, before the noon start on News Year’s Day at Sun-Oka Beach in Trout Creek. “This is just an ongoing tradition and everybody seems to love it.”

Gillingham admitted afterwards he was a little worried about the turnout but was relieved to see all the vehicle and participants pulling in at the last minute.

“Now I would say it’s the best ever,” he said with a smile.

Summerland’s Tom Reilly was back again for another year, and figured going into his 85th year, now was as good as time as any to keep the tradition alive personally.

“Chilly but nice,” he said standing on shore after his time in the water. “I did it last year, some people never learn.”

Related:Swimmers to participate in Polar Bear Dip

Along with other Kinsmen Club members, a large contingent of Penticton and District Search and Rescue representatives were on shore and in the water to help out in the event anyone got into problems however, fortunately, there were no problems.

A BC Ambulance Service crew was also on site.

There were five fires ablaze on the beach for dippers to warm themselves post swim, along with some hot chocolate and hot dogs.

Donations for the food, refreshments and T-shirts go towards projects by the Kinsmen locally.

“We’re serving the community’s greatest needs and that’s important to us,” said Gillingham, who is also past participant.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com
.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

(Above, left) Another happy participant makes his way back to the shore after an extended stay in Okanagan Lake. (Above, right) One of the 100 people who took part in the polar bear dip gets some warmth by the fire.

Summerland’s Patrick Amundsen dressed in his finest black fish net attire caught the judges eyes as the best male costume. Mark Brett/Western News

Another happy participant makes his way back to the shore after an extended stay in Okanagan Lake. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

A ‘Stadium Burger’ has been created for the event

Triple O’s ninth annual KidSport Day fundraiser takes place at 41 participating… Continue reading

Kelowna’s Inn From The Cold shelter gets one-month lease reprieve

Shelter will be allowed to stay in its current Sutherland Avenue location until the end of October.

Kelowna Unitarians elect new minister

Danielle Webber is a a life-long Unitarian Universalist

Guilty plea for West Kelowna man charged in shooting

Charles William Maskell was arrested on Dec 2, 2016 after a shooting on Granada Crescent.

UPDATE: Kelowna mayoral candidate’s sign set aflame

Bobby Kennedy’s sign was set on fire on Saturday morning

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Shuswap family raises awareness of need for better child cancer treatments

Young cancer patient doing her best to help others with the disease that hits one in 333 kids

Sutton sets Kelowna Chiefs’ offence

Kelowna 7 North Okanagan 3 in KIJHL play

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

It’s shaping up to be quite a finish in CFL’s West Division standings

The Calgary Stampeders (10-2) are first, four points ahead of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-5).

Twice-convicted killer set to inherit multimillion-dollar company found guilty of father’s murder

A Toronto judge ruled that Dellen Millard is guilty of first-degree murder in death of his father,

Campaign seeks to add Farsi to B.C. school curriculum options

Group wants Farsi added to list of nine languages in policy covering second language requirements

Most Read