Thousands ready to take the plunge into icy waters off Sea Isle City

 Participants in last year's polar bear plunge (photo courtesy Sea Isle City)

Participants in last year's polar bear plunge (photo courtesy Sea Isle City)

Millions of people in the region have had it with the snow, ice and the other assorted ingredients of wintry mixes.

But a few stalwart souls will go out of their way Saturday to seek out bone-chilling temperatures at the Jersey Shore.

They will take a dip in the ocean as they take part in the 20th annual Polar Bear Plunge in Sea Isle City.


There’s a simple reason why about 3,000 people will deliberately run into the cold ocean water in the middle of February, said Jimmy Bennett, one of the organizers of the event.

“Cabin fever. Everybody wants to get out of the house, but I’ll tell you it takes bravery of heart,” he said. “You can’t be faint of heart to do this plunge, but when you do it, I think it makes you feel wonderful. It invigorates you.”

Far more people are expected to watch the event and attend related activities.

Sea Isle City officials say the event could draw tens of thousands of visitors and is considered to be the launch of its tourism season. The plunge will start Saturday at 2 p.m. at the JFK Boulevard Beach. Only registered plungers will be permitted to walk onto the sand.

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