A Belgian beach town’s traditional wintertime carnival dip has been cancelled for the second year running due to weather-related safety concerns.
Authorities in the town of Blankenberge said they were pulling the plug on the event on Saturday due to “persistent” and “very bad” weather predictions.
“Given the persistent very bad predictions regarding wind AND sea conditions, it was decided that the carnival dive on Saturday 29 February would not go forward,” city officials said in a Facebook statement.
With weather forecasts announcing strong gusts of wind, turbulent water and high waves at the weekend, officials said it was “impossible” to guarantee the safety of participants of the event.
Zaterdag 29 februari duiken we opnieuw in het ijskoude noordzeewater tijdens de Carnavalsduik. Voor het eerst zal de duik doorgaan op het strand voor de O'Neill Beachclub. Inschrijven kan vanaf 13u30 ter plaatse.De origineelste ijsbeer ontvangt een mooie prijs.Bekijk het volledige programma op www.blankenberge.be/carnavalsduik#sportersbelevenmeer #blankenberge #Thanksto #Blueskystream
Posted by Sportdienst Blankenberge on Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Ongoing for 12 years, the event in the coastal town marks the end of the week-long carnival festivities, drawing hundreds of carnival-goers each year for a dip in the North Sea.
Up to 300 revellers take part in a pre-dip warm-up session on the beach before diving into the water with their carnivalesque attires, and are offered a warm drink —hot cocoa or a glass of gin— upon their return to the beach.
The news of the cancellation on Thursday mark the second time the carnival dive is cancelled, with town authorities announcing they would inform residents if the event is postponed to a later date.
The Brussels Times