CUMBERLAND, B.C- A swimmer from Oyster River is going to swim across Comox Lake this weekend.

Magali Côté will be setting out at sunrise from the west end of the lake, beneath the glacier, and swimming to the Cumberland side boat launch. Côté is a commercial diver by trade, and dove for six years in Quebec prior to coming to the Comox Valley three years ago.

She now works as a commercial fisherman with her boyfriend, and is swimming the lake as both a personal challenge and to raise donations for the Comox Valley Food Bank.

“It’s Christmas again, and every year everybody is so thankful to spend time with their family and enjoy a great meal, everybody is joking that they’re going to get fat over the holidays,” said Côté.

“Some people don’t have the chance to get fat over the holidays. So, it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind.”

She has been wanting to swim the lake since her move to Vancouver Island.

“I saw that lake, with the glacier in the background, and was like “this it it” one day I have to swim that lake,” said Côté.

Life got in the way, and she eventually decided to announce the swim publicly as a way to stick to a date, with no other choice but to do the swim.

She believes it will take three to four hours, and is anticipating arriving at the Cumberland boat launch by noon. She’ll be the only swimmer in the water, accompanied by a Zodiac with safety equipment on board.

“I’m sure I will be just fine, because I have been exposed to cold water like that before, for the same amount of time, for diving,” said Côté.

“I’m going to be wearing a wetsuit as well, for safety.”

While there won’t be anyone present to do food donation collections at the dock on Saturday, Côté encouraged people to donate at the food bank’s collection points. Those wishing to donate online can also head to her fundraiser at https://www.facebook.com/donate/2237877646501129/.

She also hoped for residents to come and wish her well.

“I wish I’m going to see a bunch of people of there, when I finish my swim,” said Côté.

“It would be fun to see a bunch of people cheering me up, and meet other winter swimmers if there are a such thing in the Valley, so I can find some friends to go out with, so I’m not alone!”