AP NEWS

Cold forces cancellation of some New Year’s swim events

December 29, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — It’s so cold out there that many frigid dips in Maine and Massachusetts have been postponed or canceled.

The annual Lobster Dip at Old Orchard Beach in Maine on New Year’s Day has been rescheduled for the first time in 30 years. The event, which raises money for the Special Olympics in Maine, will now be held Jan. 13. Organizers said they were concerned about the safety of the swimmers.

Organizers of another event in Maine, the Polar Bear Dip and Dash, said the 5K run in Portland will still take place on Dec. 31 but the dip into Casco Bay was cancelled.

“This is the first time we have had to do this, but after consulting with medical professionals we think it is just too cold to jump into the ocean this Sunday,” said Judy Berk, of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which puts on the event to raise funding for its work fighting climate change pollution.

The Boston Globe reports that the annual plunge on New Year’s Day in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, which is normally held on Smuggler’s Beach to raise funds for the town’s senior center, has been postponed until Jan. 21.

The Providence Journal reports that a polar plunge scheduled for New Year’s Day to benefit an animal shelter in Falls River, Massachusetts, was cancelled. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

But the newspaper reported many others will go on as scheduled, including the Penguin Plunge in Narragansett, Rhode Island, which supports the Special Olympics. Its organizers advised the thousands of expected participants to “use their good judgment” and avoid taking the plunge if they have a medical condition or have been sick. They are also advising children to avoid the water.

In Boston, organizers of the L Street Brownies plunge scoffed when asked if they were scared off by the weather.

“It’s a go. It’s always a go. We never give up,” organizer Dan Monahan told the Boston Herald of the event that attracts more than 600 swimmers each year and has gone on for more than a century.

“We’re stubborn people in Boston. We’re about tradition,” he said. “OK, so it’s cold. You can’t let it beat you. We’re mentally tough people. This is hardcore.”

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