Dozens of people run into the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dozens of people run into the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dipping into 2023: Juneau residents brave the cold ocean water to start the new year

“It was very cold and fun”

Rain or shine, the water is still cold — but that didn’t stop dozens of people and a few brave pups from taking a dip in the ocean on New Year’s Day for the annual Polar Dip.

A dog prepares for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area Sunday afternoon with its owner. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

A dog prepares for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area Sunday afternoon with its owner. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

An array of emotions appear on the faces of people as they run in and out of the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area.(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

An array of emotions appear on the faces of people as they run in and out of the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area.(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The mad scramble in and out of the water took place at the Auke Recreation Area where a warm fire greeted the flushed and shaking people after they exited the water.

One of the many participants of the event was Ana Scopel, an exchange student from Brazil, who said the event was the first time she’s been in water that cold before. She was supported by her host family, who were there to greet her with towels after the dip.

“It was very cold and fun,” she said, laughing.

Capital City Fire/Rescue also gave a helping hand at the event with six CCFR rescue swimmers who were ready in the water and on standby in case of any emergencies.

People run out of the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

People run out of the cold ocean water on a cloudy Sunday afternoon for the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“We’re here to help and bring some reassurance,” said Jayme Johns, captain and rope and water rescue team leader for Capital City Fire/Rescue.

Lourdes Marteleur smiles while wrapped in a blanket after participating in the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area Sunday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Lourdes Marteleur smiles while wrapped in a blanket after participating in the annual Polar Dip at the Auke Recreation Area Sunday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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