WRIGHTSVILLE, YORK COUNTY—The Susquehanna was peaceful on Saturday morning until about 700 people splashed into the river.
The swimmers are part of the Second Annual York County Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge. Each swimmer or team raises money from sponsors and then takes a dip in the frigid water.
"I wanted to come out and help them and be with them," former Special Olympian Brandon Jacobs said.
Jacobs raised $178 to take a frigid plunge to help the organization that has helped him.
"It excites me to come out and be in the community and get out of my group home and interact with other people," Jacobs said.
"This is our very first time," Linda Halliman of Mt. Joy said.
Her four-member group, the "Quackers," decorated themselves in a bathroom theme complete with robes, shower caps and plungers.
"It's just something different," she said.
The "Yellow Submarine Plungers" were definitely something different. The group even had a model of the Beatles famous cartoon submarine. They raised more than 900 dollars to take the plunge.
"Just do it," submarine captain Rhoda Mullen said when asked about getting ready to jump in the water. "You can't be scared."
People who wanted to help raise money but keep themselves out of the 41-degree water could buy a chicken-shaped hat. Proof that they were, indeed, "chicken."
A group of Marines was the first to march into the water, followed by several waves of anxious swimmers.
This year's plunge was delayed twice due to snow storms and parking problems.