Daredevils Take New Year's Polar Bear Plunge

By Paula Hinton
By Nathan France


4 photos

January 1, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 8:36 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Hundreds of daredevils continued a New Year's Day tradition with the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Johnny Appleseed Park.

Swimmers rushed into the frigid water of St. Joseph River, braving temperatures in the 20s. Most of the revelers only wearing swimsuits.

"It's the best way to start off the year," Austin Bohlinger of Fort Wayne said.. "Jump in a freezing river. Right?" Bohlinger jumped in the St. Joe River with buddies, Joseph Whitaker and Mitch Dutton.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department was on hand as a safety precaution.

"We survived the (Dec. 21) apocalypse," Jordyn Christensen of Fort Wayne said. "We can survive ice cold water."

Most people go under for a few seconds, running back on land as the adrenaline wears off.

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