83rd annual polar plunge freezes hundreds in Waterville - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

83rd annual polar plunge freezes hundreds in Waterville

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WATERVILLE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Hundreds of people welcomed 2014 with a splash in the Maumee River. The 83rd annual Polar Bear Plunge took place Jan. 1 in Waterville.

"You just come down a little bit early and you just try to let your skin get a little acclimated, a little used to the chill," said Mike Hall, one of the participants.

After getting their safety instructions, it was time to take the plunge.

"Oh my God, it was so bad!" said Krystal Freyre afterward. "I lost my shoe. I can't feel anything."

The water temperature was right at freezing. Long-time participants say this may just have been the coldest year yet.

"My hands are froze now," said Keith Baldwin. "This is the coldest I've ever been. Next year I will have to have some gloves."

"It's cold this year," Hall added. "I think this is the second coldest I've ever done."

Event organizers say they will be doing it all again next year to continue the tradition that Waterville native Herb Miracle started 83 years ago. They say it's a way of keeping his memory alive.

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