Hundreds join New York polar bear plunge despite cold snap
NEW YORK, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people celebrated the New Year's day on Monday by joining the annual polar bear plunge in Coney Island, New York, despite the colder-than-usual weather.
Temperatures outdoors stood at around minus eight degrees Celsius for the annual tradition that began in 1903. The water temperature was estimated at three degrees Celsius.
The brave participants were cheered for and applauded by hundreds of others who watched them taking the challenge.
This year, the swimmers are raising funds to support the Coney Island community, including the New York Aquarium, Alliance for Coney Island and other local arts and history organizations.
Coney Island is a neighborhood of 50,000 with a poverty rate close to 30 percent and is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean.