Swimmers take to the waters off Coney Island in annual Polar Bear Plunge

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- By the standards of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, it was practically a day at the beach for participants in the 115th annual New Year's Day dip in the ocean off New York City.

The swimmers had the advantage of unseasonably mild weather with temperatures in the high 50s, compared to the frigid conditions on New Year's Day 2018 when the temperature hovered at 17 degrees.

The swimmers met on the Boardwalk and Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island and proceeded to take the plunge.

Some dressed as Santa, sharks or in other costumes as they took to the Atlantic.

They say it's a way to start the new year fresh by washing off 2018.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was one of the many taking part in the swim.

He said it would be a celebration of his and his mother's first diabetes-free New Year's Day.

Funds raised from this year's event will help support Coney Island nonprofits such as the Alliance for Coney Island, the New York Aquarium, and other groups.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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