Happy New Year, New Year’s Dive Scheveningen [6/9]
The New Year’s dive into the North Sea in Scheveningen (The Hague) has become a yearly tradition in the Netherlands. In many other countries they are also familiar with such a tradition. The oldest dive takes place in Canada. The Vancouver’ Polar Bear Swim Club organizes an annual New Year’s dive since 1920. About 2000 people participate. And in Moscow they ice dive since men can remember. After cutting a deep hole in the ice people plunge into the Moskva River (Москва).
In Scheveningen the dive started in 1965, when seven hardened men defied the winter cold to take a dive into the North Sea. It was and still is organized by Swim Club “Residentie”. In recent years take the New Year’s dive has become very popular. It now sponsored by Unox, a big food company. In 2008 approximately 10.000 people participated. This year, January 1st 2011, more than 11.000 people plunged into the North Sea. The growth in numbers was due to the relative warm weather (3 degrees Celsius), compared other years.
In 2007 the dive was cancelled for the very first time. The fire brigade could not ensure everyone’s safety due to a harsh weather.