Winter Water Safety Day and Polar Plunge

Brrrrr! The swimmers at the Winter Water Safety Day and Polar Plunge in Peoria braved cold waters and an early start.

Who said safety has to be boring?

Locals showed up early on Saturday morning in Peoria for the Winter Water Safety Day and Polar Plunge at Sunrise Pool. The fun event promoted water safety and charitable donations to the city’s recreation department.

The daring participants — estimated to be between 150-200— jumped into water that has not been heated since November. They then swam a frigid lap. 

Each of the swimmers and other supporters who attended gave a $25 or more donation sponsoring swimming lessons for over 100 kids in Peoria throughout the year.

“The parents are really thankful and it shows what kind of community we have around us here in Peoria,” said Christian Peck, a city recreation coordinator.

While the cold water signified a challenge for the swimmers, the exercise demonstrated a real danger that swimmers and those around water should realize. Melissa Sutton, the president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, said an event during the non-traditional swimming or summer season was important, as many accidents take place in the off months.

“It often happens during non-swim times. It’s about heightened awareness throughout the year because we can’t let our guard down at all. So events like this get that conversation going again,” Sutton said.

The event has taken place for over 10 years. Peck said it has grown each year. 

“I know it’s crazy to have these people up early like this jumping in the 40-degree water, but it’s a really important thing people should be aware of, so we’re proud to do it,” Peck said.