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Take Tacoma’s Polar Bear Plunge

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on Dec. 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm with No Comments »
December 31, 2011 7:21 pm
Participans in the 2010 Olalla Polar Bear Plunge (Drew Perine/The News Tribune)

Ever taken a polar bear plunge? That’s the name given to organized cold water dips held around the world on New Years Day. For years a popular local option has been held in Olalla.


But now you don’t need to drive out of town to take your frosty plunge. The Point Defiance Marina is hosting its first Polar Bear Plunge January 1.

The free event begins with a Cub Plunge, for youth under 10 years of age, at 11:30 a.m., followed by an Adult/Family Plunge at noon.

The Plunge will take place regardless of weather (the water is going to be cold no matter what) at the Point Defiance boat launch in Point Defiance Park. The marina will provide hot drinks, tents and heaters for post-dip warming up.

And I know you are wondering but I’ve yet to hear if the zoo’s real polar bears will be participating. I kinda doubt it, though.

For more information visit or call 253-591-5325.

Healthy plunge guidelines:

* Anyone with a history of heart problems should talk to their healthcare provider before participating in the Polar Bear Plunge.
* Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol does not warm you up, it accelerates hypothermia.
* Don’t stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat Is lost 25 times faster in the water than in air. Puget Sound water temperature is around 45 degrees this time of year.
* To keep warm—wait until immediately before entering the water to remove any extra clothing worn over your swimsuit or plunge outfit.

Other Info:
* Swimsuits are not required but some sort of clothing must be worn.
* Don’t forget to bring dry clothes and a towel.
* Service animals only are allowed in the water with participants.

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