There’s shocking news in Exeter: the traditional and highly popular Polar Bear swim has been cancelled!
However, you can ‘t even really call it news since no official statement has been issued so far. Students are completely in the dark. We hope this piece can shed some light on that for you.
The official date that the Polar Bear swim was cancelled is July 15th. We sat down with relevant personnel to get more information.
The first person we went to was Director Elena Gosalvez-Blanco. According to her, on the first Polar Bear, the faculty went to examine the safety and security procedures there and come up with further instructions for the following swims.
However, they found out that especially in the mornings, there are big tides that can pull you further into the ocean. For this, the school couldn’t take the risk because there were no state life guards with appropriate equipment at 5 a.m. Our life guards were not enough. They just couldn’t do them without safety. However, they are trying to find alternatives for the Polar Bear swims in lakes and other safe bodies of water.
After that, we went to the head Dean of Fun, Brian Calnan, for more information. “We are always trying to make sure that our trips are as safe as possible and we are not able to, unfortunately, get enough safety support in the morning for the trips,” he said.
The Polar Bear swim had always been a tradition, so how did they find out that it suddenly lacked proper safeguards? What made this time so special?
According to Mr. Calnan, “Miss O’Hara, the aquatics director for this summer school and for the Academy attended a trip just to see what she thought we would need and said afterwards that she didn’t think we were going to have enough (life support).”
So…was there not enough life support in previous years as well? Mr. Calnan stated that “we’ve been always able to do the trips in the past.” Luckily, there weren’t any accidents in the previous years.
But students don’t remember being informed officially so far. “We did include it on an email I believe,” Mr. Calnan said. “At least I meant to.”
Students have been going to the office to sign up, but couldn’t do so. “Once we cancelled it we turned off the online signups so nobody else could sign up,” Mr. Calnan said. “We did have a lot of people ask about it. They weren’t able to actually sign up.”
Unfortunately, “we will not have another one for this session.”
So, sorry fellow-Exonians, no more Polar Bear this year. But keep your fingers crossed for the students next year to get a taste of this long-lasting tradition.