We’re not sure who is wilder: the hundreds of people who participated in Polar Plunge Tacoma or the wild animals next door at Point Defiance Zoo. These Goosebumped Beach Bums were “freezin’ for a reason” to raise money for the Special Olympics of Washington. The WALLY team joined for a day of photos, costume contests, and to observe as hundreds plunged into the frigid Puget Sound.
This was the first year the Polar Plunge was held in Tacoma, but you wouldn’t have known it based on the hundreds of attendees. The WALLY team took pictures all day long of families, athletes, and plungers in their wild and wacky costumes. We especially loved taking before and after pictures of some plungers. One woman, a teacher, took a before and after picture so she could prove to her students that she actually took the plunge. What was even cooler was that her students raised the money for her to participate.
We observed the plunge from the “Chicken Coop,” a place for those too fearful to plunge themselves. We’ll admit that we were too chicken to join in the plunge this time, but after experiencing two Polar Plunges this year, WALLY team member Justin is ready to grab his swimsuit and hopefully take the plunge next year.
We care about your safety, so here are some tips from the United States Search and Rescue Task Force on what to do if you ever find yourself in freezing cold water unintentionally:
- Cold water robs the body's heat 32 times faster than cold air. If you should fall into the water, all efforts should be given to getting out of the water by the fastest means possible.
- Should you find yourself in the water, avoid panic. Air trapped in clothing can provide buoyancy as long as you remain still in the water. Swimming or treading water will greatly increase heat loss and can shorten survival time by more than 50%.
- The major body heat loss areas are the head, neck, armpits, chest and groin. If you are not alone, huddle together or in a group facing each other to maintain body heat.
The WALLY team had a blast at Polar Plunge Tacoma. Keep a lookout to see where WALLY will end up next!