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


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


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)

Just Posted

Silver Creek residents see aircraft dropping fire retardant in direction of Falkland

Wildfire BC says no fire, crews in two air tankers and a bird dog were just practising

Majority of Salmon Arm council votes yes to controversial rezoning

Mayor and one councillor say no based on possibility that creek might be altered

Letter: Unmasked faces plentiful at Salmon Arm stores

Writer concerned residents, businesses have reverted to “old normal” too soon

Hitchhiker with metal pipe prompts RCMP to close of Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police respond to report of man who pointed what was believed to be a rifle at passing driver

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Oliver Town Hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Most Read