While two annual New Year’s Day polar bear swims were cancelled due to extreme cold, nothing could keep swimmers in Halifax out of the frigid Atlantic Ocean — not even a layer of ice.
The annual polar bear dips see individuals ring in the new year by running or jumping into lakes and oceans, usually to raise money for charity. The events can draw hundreds of participants and up to thousands of spectators.
Organizers of the Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ont., announced on New Year’s Day that they were calling off the event due to “unsafe” ice and rock shifting.
Toronto’s event was cancelled the previous day. Meanwhile, the event on the East Coast started a little late because a boat needed to break up the ice in Herring Cove, where the air was a chilly -19 C with the wind chill.
Several other events are going ahead around the world as well, including one in Edinburgh, Scotland, Coney Island in New York, Flagstaff, Ariz., Boston, Mass., Boulder, Colo., Excelsior, Min., and at the Tennessee River in Alabama.