Published: Tue, January 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

More than 1500 fearless frigid waters for 97th annual Polar Bear Swim

What is becoming a new tradition associated with the plunge is the naming of a Polar Bear Queen, this year Braelyn Daniel.

Hundreds of fearless souls showed up at Golden Gardens bundled up against the 32 degree air temp to jump in the water that was actually warmer at 45 degrees.

Jarosh said this year was extra special as he fell backwards into the Lake with his children and his Dad thirty one years later after it was just him, today had three generations.

Owens, who also is a board member of the Natural Resources Council of ME, said that when they take the dip they will be at ground zero for one of the major local impacts of climate change: sea-level rise.

Polar plungers of all ages took part in Sunday's event.

But healthy swimmers who take care before, during and after should suffer no ill effects, Herrera said, and many chilly thrill-seekers swear by the supposed health benefits of swimming in freezing cold water.

"Oh, it's emotional, I'm 60 and I thought it would be a great time to stop", said Dundon.

Below, you can see some images from this year's Polar Bear Swim.

"It's the right way to start the year with a refreshing dip", said Dave Kilroy. He's doing it for a good cause. It's a little bit out of the ordinary and people like to watch it as much as do it.

The eighth annual Huntsville Polar Bear Dip saw 15 dippers leaping into the icy waters of Peninsula Lake on January 1 in support of Habitat for Humanity Gateway North. Organizers had to cut through a small section of the frozen lake to allow dippers into the water. No plans of getting wet on their next New Year's Day.

Two of the younger swimmers, Geneva Kelleher, 7, and Elizabeth Curry, 6, were quick to bundle up to counteract their chattering teeth after running out of the Atlantic.

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