Despite frigid temperatures on both land and water over 60 brave lakecity locals took the plunge into Williams Lake this afternoon in Freezin’ For a Reason.
The second time the lakecity based Roller Derby Team the Caribruisers have organized this annual event, previously known as the Polar Bear Swim organized in support of youth rugby. This year according to the swim’s organizer Sunny Dyck, they really lived up to the events name and were freezing for a reason.
“It was very cold, (we reached) a temperature of -18C on the water and then windchill on top of that we’re definitely freezing for a reason. The ice was just over a foot thick,” Dyck said. “We had to skim the ice a couple of times.”
Scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Dyck and her fellow organizers were forced to begin early as rapidly lowering temperatures were causing the hole to ice up and were expected to continue to decrease. At one point swimmers were jumping in with a temperature of -18C awaiting them as they emerged with a windchill pushing it near -30C.
“We had 61 in the water today all the way from ages six and 11 were our two youngest all the way to old enough, let’s just say, without saying any names there,” Dyck laughed in the warming hut after the swim.
In addition to the jumpers, Dyck had 12 volunteers who helped cut the ice and supervise the jumps and reckons she had over a 100 people involved overall throughout the process of organizing the event. Each jumper raised money for their own individual charity, rather than strictly for the Caribruisers.
Overall the atmosphere of the swim was positive, with people laughing and cheering as jumpers dove, jumped and inched their way into the waters.
“It was an amazing success, thanks to all the volunteers and participants of course. Another year is done and now its time to warm up in time for next year which is generally how long it takes us to warm up,” Dyck laughed. “It’s the coolest event to kick off the new year, so, come chill with us next year!”