Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Winter Swim Around the World

Thousands of people across Europe, America and Asia celebrated the arrival of the New Year by jumping into chilly seas, rivers and lakes.

A record number of 10,000 people took the plunge in this year's traditional New Year's dip in the icy waters of the North Sea near The Hague in Netherland. The high turnout was attributed to the mild weather with a sea temperature of 8 degrees compared to 4 degrees last year. In Italy, several people dived into the River Tiber in a New Year's tradition that stretches back to 1946.

In Scotland, over 1000 New Year revelers, many in fancy dress, braved freezing conditions in the River Forth in front of the Forth Rail Bridge during the annual Loony Dook Swim on January 1, 2012 in South Queensferry.

In New York, two groups belonging to the winter bathing organization ‘Coney Island Polar Bear Club’ and the ‘Ice Breakers’ took their annual New Year's dips into the Atlantic Ocean off Brooklyn Sunday afternoon. A similar event was organized by YPAAC (Young Professionals Alzheimer's Association of Colorado) in Colarado. About seven hundred brave souls ran into the cold waters of the Boulder reservoir. The event was driven by the noble purpose of raising funds for Alzheimer research.

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Athletes dressed as Santa Claus jump into the Mediterranean sea as they take part in the Copa Nadal in the Spanish port of Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, Dec. 25. The Copa Nadal (Christmas Cup) is a traditional swimming competition that takes place in Barcelona every December 25th, where participants swim 200 meters in the open sea in the port of Barcelona. (Emilio Morenatti / AP)

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A Christmas Day reveller takes the plunge into the chilly waters on Brighton beach in Brighton, Britain, on Dec. 25. Hundreds of people flocked to Brighton beach for the annual Christmas day swim. (Andy Rain / EPA)

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A swimmer reacts as he climbs a ladder to leave the Vltava river after a swim within the traditional Christmas winter swimming competition in Prague, Czech Republic, on Dec. 26. Enthusiast swimmers every year brave the cold waters of the Vltava river for a swim. (Filip Singer / EPA)

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A winter swimmer jumps with a mop into the icy water of the Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China on Dec. 26, 2011. (Sheng Li / Reuters)

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Members of the 'Berlin Seals' club swim in the Oranke Lake with a water temperature of three degrees Celsius, wearing Christmas costumes in Berlin, Germany, on December 25. The winter swimmers traditionally meet on Christmas Day to take a swim together. (Maurizio Gambarini / EPA)

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Despite temperatures of around 52 degrees Fahrenheit, thousands of people celebrate the New Year by running into the North Sea at Scheveningen, near The Hague, Netherlands. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

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Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

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Peter Dejong / AP

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New Year revelers, many in fancy dress, braved freezing conditions in the River Forth in front of the Forth Rail Bridge during the annual "Loony Dook" swim Sunday. (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

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A winter bather of the "Berlin Seals" poses in near-freezing water of the Orankesee lake during a New Year's swimming event Sunday. (Maurizio Gambarini / EPA)

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Over 1000 New Year revellers, many in fancy dress, braved freezing conditions in the River Forth in front of the Forth Rail Bridge during the annual Loony Dook Swim on January 1, 2012 in South Queensferry, Scotland. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

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Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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29th annual Polar Plunge at the Boulder Reservoir (Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post)

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Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

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Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

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Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

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Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

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Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

Sources: MSNBC, Avaxnews, DenverPost

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