Mild air, but chilly water greets Rehoboth plunge

The air temperature may have been in the 50’s, but the Atlantic Ocean was near the freezing mark when thousands took a dip Sunday in Rehoboth Beach.

More than 3,000 people took the plunge in the 23rd annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge at Rehoboth Beach. An estimated crowd of more than 15,000 spectators enjoyed the unusually warm February Sunday to watch the event and take a stroll along the boards.

Two of our WHYY photographers love doing the plunge and the 2014 version was no exception.  Charlie O’Neill said the air was so warm that he was walking around shirtless for 15 minutes leading up to the plunge (yes, perhaps tmi).

Paul Parmelee loved the mild weather, but disagrees on what the thermometer said.  “Comparing the air with what has gone on in January made it feel like a warm spring day, but the 34 degree water temperature was like a punch in the gut.”

It was his 11th plunge and even though he only had to do it once he said he went back for a second and third plunge.   He said his efforts raised $760 for the cause.

The event raised more than $725,000 for Delaware Special Olympics.

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