Richard Mose of Port Hardy hits the water in the first jump of the annual Polar Bear Jump

Richard Mose of Port Hardy hits the water in the first jump of the annual Polar Bear Jump

Polar Bear jump kicks off New Year on North Island

PORT HARDY - Sixteen souls brave the chill of Hardy Bay in annual Lions Club sponsored event



PORT HARDY—Under the bemused gaze of dozens of spectators bundled against the New Year’s Day chill, 16 hardy residents welcomed 2015 with a plunge into Hardy Bay from Government Wharf.

The annual Lions Club Polar Bear Swim drew participants from ages eight to 46 — including a pair of skateboarders and two family groups.

“We had skateboarders last year,” said John Tidbury of the Port Hardy Lions after watching boarders Stephen Ralph and Catlin Robichaud sail off the dock to splash down below. “But this time they brought their ramp with them.”

Richard Mose, dressed in a Santa hat and bikini T-shirt, led off the jumpers in overcast, 2 degree weather, as a quartet of divers tread water below to ensure the safety of participants.

Members of the Janse family, including dad Hans and kids Duncan, Myles and Lucinda, took their turns next.

The Grenier clan — father Marc, son Jaylon and daughter Madison, took part for the fourth straight year while mom Sandy handled photography duties. Here’s a short video with some of our own favourite sounds and images from the event …