Polar Bears take to chilly Atlantic on New Year’s Day

Nearly 30 jumpers plunge to welcome 2018
January 2, 2018

About 30 brave revelers plunged in the Atlantic Ocean at the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park to celebrate the New Year’s Day tradition to welcome the new year. The 42-degree water temperature probably felt warm compared to the 20-degree air temperature.

“It was warmer in the water than on the beach,” said veteran plunger Greg Mack.

Taking the New Year’s plunge were Dale Johnson; Dan, Madison and Austin MacElrevey; Keith, Trevor, Andrew and Erin Ricker; Lacey Mallman; Emily Southmayd; Neal Stein; Jeff Butillo; Spencer Steele; Trevor Shafran; Lillie, Jack and Bill Lingo; Bryan and Greg Mack; Connie Miller; Jack Frederick; Chip Davis; Kevin Roach; Bob Hughes; Karen, James and Tom Gusmer; Max Coveleski; Chris Gill; Joe Cahill; and dogs Shady and Deuce.

“It was the coldest plunge I’ve done in the past 20-plus years,” said veteran plunger Keith Ricker.

“I never expected to have to dodge a patch of ice on my way to jump into the ocean,” said first-time plunger Lacey Mallman.

“Next time I plunge, I’ll make sure my awaiting clothes are not inside out,” said first-time plunger Emily Southmayd. “It really takes your breath away ... in addition to all feeling in your hands and feet.”

The Lewes Polar Bear Plunge was founded in 1982 by Dave “Fredman” Frederick, Dennis Forney, Tim Pfieffer, George Pepper and John Ellsworth.