A flock of brave people dive into the ocean at Whiffin Spit for the 2008 Polar Bear Swim. (Black Press photo)

A flock of brave people dive into the ocean at Whiffin Spit for the 2008 Polar Bear Swim. (Black Press photo)

Otter Point Fire Department hosts 26th Polar Bear Swim

Annual event takes place Jan. 1 at Whiffen Spit beach in Sooke

A new year is on the horizon, and if you are in need of a wake up call for 2018, the annual Polar Bear Swim at Whiffen Spit beach might be the perfect event for you.

The swim begins at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, and approximately 10 Otter Point firefighters will be in attendance, as well as a few from Sooke.

Hot chocolate will be served, and a bonfire will be lit to keep people warm before and after their icy swim.

“It’s good for the people who got drunk on New Years Eve, to jump in and sober up,” laughed John McCrea, assistant fire chief at the The Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department.

The event, which is always hosted by the Otter Point Fire Department, first began in 1992 at Young Lake and has been attracting hundreds of people, both observers and swimmers, every year since.

“It’s a fresh start to a new year, and it’s a fun event that brings people together,” said McCrea.