Brave bathers take annual Polar Bear plunge at Coney Island

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Polar Bear Starting line

CONEY ISLAND (PIX11) – For some there is no better way to wash off the old year than stripping down and diving into the frigid waters at Coney Island.

Hundreds did just that Wednesday as members of the Polar Bear and Ice Breakers clubs, along with other hardy thrill seekers took there places at the starting line, dressed in swimsuits, costumes or just their underwear.

The shouts and screams of the shivering masses reached a crescendo as the organizer counted down, finally giving the signal and sending them racing into the 41-degree water.

The cold water felt like a reprieve to many, as the air temperature had dipped below 35 degrees.

A New Year’s day tradition, the Polar Bear Club members have been hosting the event since 1903.

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