Margate Polar Bear Plunge 2017 (37)
Matthew Strabuk

VENTNOR - The Polar Bear Plunge scheduled for New Year's Day at 1 p.m. has been cancelled because apparently, it's going to be too cold for polar bears.

The event was canceled over safety concerns because temperatures are expected to be 18 degrees, organizers said.

Mike Weissen, organizer of the polar bear plunge, contacted Mayor Holtzman to discuss cancelling the event, citing safety concerns for residents and visitors who may be participating, according to a post on the city's website. The mayor discussed it with Commissioners Tim Kriebel and Lance Landgraf and all agreed that it should be cancelled.

"It's not a city function," the mayor said. "Eighteen degrees is scary dangerous, and I will always agree on the side of caution."

Holtzman said the cancellation of the Holiday Parade earlier this month was different, because that was a city-sponsored event that was cancelled at the recommendation of the police chief and emergency management coordinator.

"If it was snow, it would have been beautiful, but it was wet, freezing rain and all the units were cancelling. There was no parade to be had," she said.

Although the air temperature is expected to be in the mid-20s on New Year's Day, the water temperature will likely be in the mid-40s.

“As disappointing as this is, we would rather err on the side of safety and think cancelling is the right thing for Mr. Weissen to do," Holtzman said.

The 24th annual polar bear plunge hosted by Robert's Place in Margate will be held as planned at noon on Jan. 1. The event, which is held at the Essex Avenue beach, benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the Fisher House Foundation has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13. The schedule will remain the same, including presentations to the Fisher House Foundation at 11 a.m., winners of the costume contest announced at 11:30 a.m., and the plunge taking place at noon on the 14th Street South beach in front of Laguna Grill & Rum Bar. Live music will follow.

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