Ostend’s new Mayor, the liberal Bart Tommelein, got the event underway at 3pm. The participants made their way from the beach into the sea. However, they weren’t allowed to go too far in. High winds and choppy waters meant that the organisers told the participants not to go in any further than waist height.
One of the organisers, Lieze Lamotte told journalists that "Everything went really smoothly and there were no problems. Many of the “polar bears” are now getting themselves warm”.
Other New Year’s dips took place at other locations along the coast, including Bredene and Wenduine, on Saturday afternoon. There too extra safety measures were taken due to the blustery weather.