Polar Plungers Look Forward To New Year’s

Jan 1, 2019, 9:20 PM | Updated: 9:40 pm

STANSBURY PARK, Utah – When firefighters are called to frozen lakes it’s usually not for something good.

Especially when a firefighter starts using a chainsaw the cut through the ice.

However, in Stansbury Park Tuesday afternoon, firefighters were only here because lots of people were getting ready to go into the water – intentionally.

“I’m trying to be stupid. Start the new year off on a stupid note and it’ll be all up hill from here,” said Richard Beesley, with a laugh.

Beesley, who lives in Stansbury Park, was one of dozens of people who came to the Stansbury Park Lake to jump into the freezing water as part of the 6th annual Polar Plunge.

It’s become a sort of New Year’s tradition.

The event was to raise money for the New Life Christian Fellowship in order to help homeless teens in Tooele County.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Leauna McNicol.

It’s also the only excuse for shirtless bodies and flip flops in January.

“No sane individual would do this on a regular basis on purpose,” said Nelson Spafford, a St. George resident who decided to do the jump after being dared to.

Two firefighters in dry suits were in the cutout to help people who jumped in.

The jumpers would then get back onto the dock by climbing an aluminum ladder.

“It’s cold,” said basically everyone after climbing out of the water.

“I think it’s a great way to ring in the New Year, and it just makes me feel alive,” said Sarah Nevitt.

The pure shock of it all to your body is something many people who jumped in said as to why they do it.

“It’s like a surprise beyond anything you ever imagined,” said Nevitt, who lives in Stansbury Park. “You can’t really prepare yourself for that.”

She’s right.

You could see the shock on many people faces when they popped back up out of the water after jumping in.

There was hot chocolate and warm showers on shore to help the jumpers.

Of course, not everyone who came to the lake jumped in.

Just the sight of it all was enough to draw a crowd of about 500 people.

Many of them laughed when somebody jumped into the water in a funny way.

There were also plenty of ‘Oooo’s’ when someone would belly flop – on purpose.

“I may be crazy, but I’m not that crazy,” said one of the firefighters in the water.

Even though Utah may be best known for its outdoor sports, this is proof there’s more to do in winter than just skiing.

“You just do it. You put it out of your mind and you just do it,” said Spafford.


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Polar Plungers Look Forward To New Year’s