New Year's plunge more polar than normal

Similar events in Northeast canceled, curtailed due to frigid temperatures

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brave beachgoers started off 2018 with a "Polar Plunge" in the ocean at Jacksonville Beach.

The Wavemasters sponsor the event at 9 a.m. every New Years Day. Around 1,000 people showed up Monday, but only 100 or so got into the water.

To qualify as a "polar plunger" one must completely submerge themselves into the ocean without a wetsuit. Most don't stay long, running back to shore.

News4Jax meteorologist Mark Collins said the air temperature Monday morning was 43 and the water was about 57.

Some of the plungers said it's their favorite thing to do to start off the New Year.

Similar events in Northeast were canceled or people were warned it could be dangerous. The annual Lobster Dip at Old Orchard Beach in Maine was rescheduled for the first time in 30 years.

Organizers of the Penguin Plunge in Narragansett, Rhode Island, say it would go on as usual, but advised participants to "use their good judgment" and avoid taking the plunge if they have a medical condition or have been sick.

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