No Penguin Plunge in Little Compton this year
LITTLE COMPTON — The New Year's Day Penguin Plunge will not take place this year.
The announcement was made by Gina Malloy, executive director of the Little Compton Community Center (LCCC), which in years past has sponsored the event.
Safety played a role in the decision, said Ms. Malloy. "We do worry about the safety of people on the beach. It's grown rocky in the past couple of years due to storms. Last year someone was injured, not a bad injury, but it happened," she said.
"To do a plunge you need to get an extension on your liability insurance, which costs in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars, money that comes out of the proceeds," she said.
She said the sponsors also need to arrange for lifeguards to keep the beach safe, which is an additional cost.
In addition to the lifeguards, in years past Little Compton police and fire personnel have been on duty, as well as about five staff from the LCCC, she said.
Typically held at around noon on New Year's Day, the plunge has attracted spectators and stalwart plungers alike. Last year and the year before about 80 people took to the water at South Shore Beach.
The plunge has been a fund-raiser for Youth Activities and Community (YAC), a Thursday afternoon after-school program at the LCCC for children of middle school age. In each of the last two years the event raise about $1,200.
"We would be glad for another group to pick up the mantle for sponsoring the plunge, and we'd support it," Ms. Malloy said.