Bold Wendell divers take icy New Year's plunge

Posted January 1, 2018 4:57 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:56 a.m. EDT

— A group of divers braved the cold for a New Year's Day tradition in Wendell on Monday by starting 2018 with a dive into icy water.

Usually, a typical "polar plunge" involves swimsuits, but, due to the morning's below-freezing temperatures, many prepared differently this year.

"This is a great way to start the new year -- underwater with my friends," said a diver at Mystery Lake Scuba Park. The divers wore wet suits, ready to face the 48-degree water.

Bold Wendell divers take icy New Year's plunge

Hot chili and warm drinks awaited the swimmers after their dive, but it was still cold.

Most of the divers are from the Down Under Dive Club in Raleigh, and this New Year's dive was, for sure, their coldest venture of the year.

The divers weren't the only people to take the plunge on Monday -- the people who own the scuba park did, too. "We just decided to go for it," said Season Atkinson, the scuba park owner, who owns the land with her husband.

The land overlooks an old rock quarry. and the owners said it wasn't a scuba park until recently.

The 15-acre park is open year-round.

According to multiple divers, it wasn't nearly as cold in the water as it was outside of it.

Was it worth it? "Oh, it's a fantastic way to start the new year," said a diver.