Hundreds Take Icy Plunge To Celebrate New Year, Raise Storm Relief Funds

NEW YORK (January 1, 2013)--Hundreds of hardy swimmers welcomed 2013 with a plunge into the icy sea off Brooklyn's Coney Island, an area struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Members of the Ice Breakers and the Coney Island Polar Bear clubs and other brave bathers stripped down to their trunks or dressed in costumes for the annual New Year's Day splash.

Some people hit the surf dressed only in bikinis or briefs, one woman dressed as a mermaid and another swimmer wore a hat with horns.

Temperatures outside were in the 30s and the swimmers screamed at the shock of the cold water.

This year, Polar Bear club members and others were raising money for Sandy relief efforts.

The area was badly flooded by the late October storm.

The Ice Breakers try to raise awareness of water pollution.


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