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UPDATED: Hundreds of Penguins make the plunge in Port Moody
The largest number of swimmers ever recorded for the annual Penguin Plunge in Port Moody welcomed 2014 with a splash — and screams — on New Year's Day.
More than 400 participants of all ages — many of them sporting crazy costumes and some wearing almost nothing at all — signed up for the annual Jan. 1 dip in the Burrard Inlet under clear skies at a balmy 8C.
Among those who dressed up for the Wednesday event included Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay, who donned loud 1980s garb, a curly wig and makeup, and long-time participant Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, who wore an animal hat, penguin tape on his pants and an "ugly" Christmas sweater — a nod to the Ugly Sweater Guys charity in Port Moody.
There were also caped crusaders, bumblebees and a Braveheart.
Nancy Scott of the Pleasantside community association, which hosts the tradition off the Rocky Point Park pier, said about $1,000 was raised for the organization through registrations and refreshment sales.
Scott said, as in past years, there was some confusion about the time the Plunge was scheduled to start and, as a result, a few revellers showed up an hour early.
As well, because of the size of the crowd, Scott said her group will look at splitting the Plunge into two in 2015 to accommodate the number of people down the concrete — and slippery — boat ramp.