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