WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Freezing temperatures didn't keep plungers from taking a dip in the ocean Monday all to benefit Communities in Schools of Cape Fear for the Wrightsville Plunge.
"Honestly, it's exciting. We don't get this much cold in Wilmington very frequently and to have it on a day where we are challenging people to do something out of their comfort zones, why not do it in frigid weather as opposed to sixty-degree weather," Communities in Schools Executive Director Louise Hicks said.
Communities in Schools is a dropout prevention nonprofit in Pender and New Hanover County that targets students that need additional support in school, according to Hicks.
When the plunge kicked off at noon on Monday, the air temperature was in the teens with the wind chill. The water temperature was 54 degrees.
Ladd Gasparovic has been plunging in the Wrightsville Plunge since it started three years ago. He said this year was definitely the coldest.
"I'm hoping, or at least I'm telling myself, that because it's so cold outside, it's like 20 degrees outside, and the water is 50, so I'm thinking that the water is going to feel great, or at least that's what I'm telling myself," Gasparovic said.
According to Hicks, they never thought of canceling the plunge. She said there were lifeguards and medics on hand in case anything happened.
One of those lifeguards said the biggest thing to worry about with temperatures as low as they were is shock.
"Then just making sure everybody stays nice and warm. You know, the medics are here to help with any extra stuff, but making sure that if people need a towel that towels are readily available or the foil blankets and keeping people warm when they get out," Kate Norwood said.
"Don't stay in very long. You know, it's for a good cause, so you plunge and then get right back out," Norwood said.
According to Hicks, 193 people preregistered, with others signing up before the plunge. She said the same number of people registered as last year, despite the nearly 30-degree difference in weather.
Plungers paid $25 for adults and $10 for kids. All money went to Communities in Schools of Cape Fear.