Tanya Kraft warms herself with a blanket and a hot coffee after taking a chilly dip into Shuswap Lake for the Polar Bear Swim at the Sicamous Winter Carnival. (Kayleigh Seibel/Salmon Arm Observer)

Swimmers to give 2020 a cold start at Canoe Beach polar bear swim

Approximately 30 swimmers expected to brave the frigid water

Shuswap residents will once again be shivering in a new year with a dip in the frigid waters of Shuswap Lake.

A polar bear swim will be taking place at the Canoe Beach boat launch on Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. For 2020, the annual event will not be hosted by the Salmon Arm Waves Masters swim club as in previous years, though several of the club’s members will be participating.

In the South Shuswap, the 5th Annual Polar Bear Swim is scheduled to take place on Jan. 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park in Scotch Creek.

Read more: Try a bold start to the New Year

Read more: Swimmers brave frigid Shuswap waters

The lake’s temperature, last recorded on Dec. 31, reached a measly 2.2 C. If you are thinking of participating, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

  • If you have a heart problem, just be an observer.
  • Do not drink. Alcohol does not warm you up. It accelerates hypothermia.
  • Wear something on your feet during the swim.
  • Have a towel/blanket to stand on when you come out of the water.

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

Read more: Kick off new year in cold water


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Tanya Kraft, Autumn Ditrich-Griffith and Nicole Albisser celebrate and warm up with a group hug after the Sicamous Polar Bear Swim. (Kayleigh Seibel/Salmon Arm Observer)

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