Over 7,000 people took a not-so-polar plunge on Saturday in Seaside Heights, part of an annual tradition to raise over $1.7 million for Special Olympics New Jersey.

The water was practically freezing – 43 degrees – but the air temperature hovered around 60, making this year’s event one of the “warmest” ever. That didn’t stop the chilly effect of a swim, though, but “every second of the cold pain was worth it,” one plunger told us, for Special Olympics New Jersey.

The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)

Teams included the annual “Kool Nutz” crew from Hooks, Central Regional High School, police departments from across the state and numerous local organizations.


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The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)
The 2017 Seaside Heights Polar Plunge. (Photo: Daniel Nee/Shorebeat)

The full total of how much money was raised will be tallied by the end of the weekend, organizers said.