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groupEighteen members of the Saugeen Shores Lifesaving Club braved frigid waters and cold temperatures during the Club’s sixth annual Polar Bear Dip February 19 at the Port Elgin Harbour.

Hub Staff

Cannonballs, a front flip, and even a dab were just some of the entertaining ways that 18 of the Saugeen Shores Lifesaving Club’s (SSLC) senior and comp squad athletes entered the frigid waters during their Polar Bear Dip February 19.

The annual event is now in its sixth year. It takes place under the watchful eye of the Saugeen Shores Fire Department, who monitors the swimmers from along the dock and from within the water, and serves as a fundraiser for much needed life saving equipment for the club.

In an earlier interview SSLC Coach and Pool Coordinator Michael Hundt said the equipment can be quite pricey. “So that's where that money goes, to help upgrade equipment and make sure [the swimmers are] ready for competition,” he explained. “We have a couple young ones who are already looking at 2020 and seeing if they can't make the national team so we're going to try and help them get there,” he added.

Veteran Polar Bear Dipper Aurora Jacobi, who raised approximately $400 for the fundraiser, said that although the water was cold last year she still wanted to participate to help the swim team and that it’s a good experience of which to be a part. “It’s also kind of funny to watch people jump in, so we get to jump in while people laugh at us,” said Jacobi who was standing next to fellow SSLC member Teagan Gottschalk who was armed with a sleeping bag to dry off with following her jump.

Many members of the SSLC attempted cannonballs which created a big splash. Centennial Pool staff member and Club member Austin DeVries, who raised $180 for the event, said some had planned the actions ahead of time and all in good fun.

DeVries who had previously taken the leap in 2017 said the location closer to the parking lot was a shorter distance to swim, which he preferred, but admitted that the worst part was their time spent on the dock in the cold weather waiting to jump in.

The fundraising total for the 2018 event was not available at the time of publishing.

CarlinCarlin Reid was one of the first to test the waters of the Port Elgin Harbour during the SSLC’s sixth annual Polar Dip, February 19.

Carlin waterCarlin Reid came up for air after taking the frigid plunge.

ConnorLifesaving Club member Connor McNeill cannonballs into the cold harbour waters.

toesTeagan Gottschalk during her first ever Polar Bear Dip February 19.

MaddyMaddy McNeill dabs her way into the water.