Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 • Susanville residents brave cold waters

Participants of the inaugural Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Almanor jump in the 37-degree water at 1:14 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1.

There’s nothing quite like submersing one’s self in frigid waters to bring in the New Year.

Braving the bone-chilling water of Lake Almanor, a handful of Susanville residents plummeted off the Canyon Dam boat dock at precisely 1:14 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1 for the inaugural Polar Bear Plunge.

“I am doing this because I am originally from Minnesota, and while I have jumped through holes in lake ice in winter, I have never done a polar bear plunge,” said Margaret Liddiard, the event’s organizer. “(We’re) just a group of like-minded people bent on having fun and being a wee bit crazy.”

Felicia Burriel exits the cold Lake Almanor water after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge.

In total, seven participants jumped off the dock, and one claimed afterward the shock of hitting the 37-degree water took his breath away.

While the event this year was solely for fun, Liddiard hopes next year’s will be a fundraiser titled Freezin’ for a Reason, and will have brave jumpers collect sponsors to raise funds to a selected organization.

She added she would continue the event next year.