This group won “Best Group Costume” at the Polar Bear Swim, while Pat Deakin (wearing a tuxedo) won “Best Individual Costume.” ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni dives into the New Year

Annual PEAK Polar Bear Swim drew 200 swimmers

Port Alberni took a dive into the new year—and a dive into the frigid Alberni Inlet.

READ MORE: Take a dip on Jan. 1 with Port Alberni’s annual Polar Bear Swim

The PEAK Polar Bear Swim has become an annual New Year’s Day tradition in Port Alberni at Canal Waterfront Park. This year’s event was a fundraiser for the Bread of Life, with the Uptown Merchants of Port Alberni offering to pay a twoonie for every registered swimmer.

Approximately 200 swimmers took the chilly dive into the water, with hundreds more looking on.

Pat Deakin, wearing a tuxedo and carrying a martini glass, won first prize for best costume. Best group costume went to “Presence of Christmas”—the team dressed up as a Christmas tree and presents. The oldest swimmer was Tom Stokes, at age 73.

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Abigail Silvester was ready to jump into the water dressed as a Christmas present. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Swimmers return to shore after taking a chilly dive on New Year’s Day. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

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