PHOTOS: Locals brave frigid water at Fort Langley polar bear swim

About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Addyson Adams, 10, Sherry Brown, 45, and Nixon Adams, 6 were among the 30 people who braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)Addyson Adams, 10, Sherry Brown, 45, and Nixon Adams, 6 were among the 30 people who braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)About 30 people braved the chilly water on New Year’s Day 2020 in Fort Langley for the annual unofficial polar bear plunge. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)

It was a stark contrast to the hundreds who participated in last year’s polar bear plunge in Fort Langley, but there were still a few who gathered on a shallow beach to take a dip in the frigid waters of the Bedford Channel on New Year’s Day.

The shores were quiet for much of the morning, but minutes before noon a handful of groups started to make their way to down the water.

Sherry Brown, 45, said it was her third year participating.

She was one of the first to arrive on the beach with her kids, Addyson Adams, 10, and Nixon Adams, 6. The family secured their spot while they waited for the rest of their party to arrive.

“This year I’m diving right in,” the Walnut Grove resident laughed, noting in previous years she only dipped her toes in the water.

About 30 individuals took part this year.

At noon participants counted down from 10 before braving the chilly water.

“It was cold, but it was actually not as cold as I thought it was going to be,” Brown noted after returning to the beach.

READ MORE: COVID curtails polar plunges around Lower Mainland, including Aldergrove

It’s the sense of community Brown gains from the annual plunge that keep her coming back, she said.

“It’s always been the community,” Brown said. “It’s cool to see all these families come out and do something as a tradition to start off a new year.”

Similarly, it’s what keeps Justin McQueen and his family returning each year.

“We came out here to welcome the new year and have a good time,” said McQueen. “We do this every year and it’s just a tradition we like to keep going.”

McQueen took the plunge with his three kids, Parker, 11, Elle, 8, and Monroe, 5.

“It was freezing,” said Elle.

When asked if she would take part again next year, she responded with a smile.

“I thought it was very cold,” said Parker, who weathered the water a second time thanks to a dunk from Dad.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Hundreds gathered at 2020 polar bear plunge in Fort Langley

Last year, spectators estimated the event drew the largest crowd since its inception six years ago.

Meanwhile, across town the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre (ACUCC) swimming pool did not host its polar bear swim due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This would have been the third year that the Township of Langley offered the tradition at ACUCC; 2018 saw about 80 adults and kids take a dip in the unheated outdoor Aldergrove pool – an interest high enough to make it an annual outing.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Fort LangleyLangley

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

Just Posted

Langley activist Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 108th birthday on Monday, Jan. 25th at the Cedar Hill long term care facility. Because of the pandemic, she remained inside, able to see, but not shake hands with visitors. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley’s Dorscie Paterson celebrates her 108th birthday

Pandemic required her to remain behind a window, able to see, but not make contact with visitors

The business case for bringing SkyTrain to Langley has been finalized but some are pushing for another rail method. (Black Press Media file)
LETTER: Rail expert continues to lobby for light rail over SkyTrain to Langley

SkyTrain the most expensive option for rail through communities South of the Fraser, writer argues

The speculation and vacancy tax declaration must be filled out by the end of March. (Black Press Media files)
SVT declaration packages en route to homeowners in Langley

A penalty will apply to those, not exempted, who don’t pay by due date

oOties mini donuts served fresh treats at the grand opening of Lantern Park in Aldergrove last fall. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Free oOties mini donuts for Aldergrove residents on Valentines Day

Joti Steeves and the VIP team will bring in the food truck between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 14

R.E. Mountain Secondary School parent volunteer Lorraine Baldwin and her daughter Jessica visiting the Thompson Rivers University campus in the fall. Jessica is a Grade 12 student at R.E. Mountain Secondary.
Online fundraiser aims to create memorable grad year for Langley students

R.E. Mountain Secondary School targets $10,000 goal for Grade 12 dry grad

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

In this May 23, 2012, file photo, an approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington, Wash. A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Mulligan/The Daily Herald via AP
Cougar euthanized in B.C. after severely mauling a man north of Vancouver

Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read