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Golden Sands Polar Bear Club - Whitehaven harbour

Fancy dress swim

Every year the Golden Sands Polar Bear Club decide to go for a swim on New Year's Eve in the harbour at Whitehaven. And in case that's not fun enough they do it in fancy dress with the majority being sponsored for charity.

Warm up exercise fun

Before they all risked drowning due to hypothermia it was decided they should warm up around the hub with some dance exercises.

Mokey fit exercise

Leading the workout was four members of the Mokey fit group.

Penguin Costume

All sorts of different costumes featured amongst the swimmers.

Batwatch family


Captain costume

Suit and Bowler hat

Whitehaven Brass Band

Whitehaven band lead the parade from the hub around to the Golden Sands.

Polar Bear Club Banner

The brass band was followed by a specially prepared banner.

Polar Bear Club parade

Gathering on the Golden Sands

The swimmers then stripped off into their final layers for entry into the water and gathered on the golden sands situated between the Old Quay and the Old New Quay in the outer harbour of Whitehaven.

Waiting for the swim

Shivering Cold

With a rather cold wait some of the brave lads who had decided to go topless were considering whether next year they might go for a furry costume.

Tinman costume

Eventually after a countdown there was a mad dash into the water and for some a quick retreat. Some stayed for a splash around but few were daring enough to venture beyond waist height although some big waves gave many a thorough soaking.

To provide safety the local lifeboat crew had volunteered to stand deep in the water with their waterproof suits ready to catch anyone who stumbled into difficulty.

Popeye costume

Finally it was the dash to get out of the water and into some dry clothes.

Youtube video


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WAWL 2012