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Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2016 is here to freeze your buns off

DH Vancouver Staff Dec 15, 2015 9:50 am

What better way to celebrate a brand new year than freezing your buns off with a thousand of your fellow Vancouverites?

Hosted by the Polar Bear Swim Club, the Polar Bear Swim is a Vancouver tradition dating back to 1920, when the first 10 swimmers hit the frigid waters of English Bay to ring in the new year.

The Polar Bear Swim attracts thousands of thrill-seeking Vancouverites every year, so come on down and join the city in doing New Year’s Day right.


A few guidelines, from the City of Vancouver:

  • If you have heart problems, don’t risk it. Enjoy the show!
  • Children must be with an adult in and out of the water.
  • For safety’s sake, leave your dog at home.
  • Alcohol accelerates hypothermia, so don’t drink.
  • Don’t stay in the water fore more than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Don’t remove clothing until the swim starts.
  • Entrants in the 100 yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
  • If you’re one of the first three swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat make sure to give your name to the lifeguard.
  • Pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table following the swim.
  • Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Image: Kuna Photography Group

Image: Kuna Photography Group

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2016

When: Friday, January 1

Time: Registration 12:30 p.m. / Swim 2:30 p.m.

Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver


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DH Vancouver Staff
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