The Venice Beach Penguin New Year’s Day Swim was canceled Sunday, January 1st, for the first time in 46 years, Penguin Club officials said.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, firefighters and lifeguards held a meeting to discuss ocean and beach conditions. They agreed that the Penguin Club should not be allowed to hold an official swim because the surf had high swells.

The crowds of people that would gather on the beach to watch the swim would also interefere with the sand berms and work crews using heavy equipment.

“Extreme conditions may be what makes a Penguin a penguin as evidenced by the unofficial swim of several club members,” said Mary McGuirk, the club’s event coordinator.