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2014-03-28 at 15:13

Taking the plunge?

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
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Winter not cold enough for you?

In that case there is one local event that hopes to give you a true taste of winter. Now in its fifth year, the Thunder Bay Polar Bear Plunge is set for Saturday afternoon.

Organizer Warren Giertuga said it took his crew about four hours Thursday evening to make sure the main attraction was ready to go at the Marina.

"We were cutting through 32, 34 inches of ice," he said Friday afternoon.

But the fact that Lake Superior is still around 90 per cent covered in ice doesn't seem to be deterring anyone from taking the plunge as more than 250 are expected, double from last year.

It's also expected to break last year's $40,000 raised for Special Olympics.

Giertuga said a lot of people who have been spectators see that it can be a lot of fun.

"They realize it's not as threatening as it looks," he said. "It's not as bad as you might think."
For all of those first-timers, Giertuga said to wear shoes as its always a little slippery around the launch area. Also, less is more when it comes to attire.

"I say were as little clothes as possible because when you get out of the water you dry off a lot quicker the less clothes you have on," he said.

A towel or housecoat can also help warm a person warm up on their walk back to the heated tents provided by the military.

To help spectators, this year participants will jump in facing the shore so everyone has a good view. As always divers and EMS will be on hand for safety.

Anyone looking to jump in can register online or sign up at the event. It starts at 2 p.m.



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