Polar Plunge: Bringing in the New Year

Tuesday, January 1, 2018
News 12 at 6/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- News 12 knows what some people are thinking in the New Year but what about these people? They started 2019 by jumping in the Augusta Canal for the 3rd Savannah Rapids Polar Plunge.

Our biggest question is why? In January of all months.

Almost 20 people jumped off this dock to do the polar plunge today, they say even though it's pretty warm outside the water was still cold.

As fast as they jumped in the water, these brave souls are trying to get back out.

“It was cold, it's cold," said one participant.

"It's cold, that water is really cold,” said another.

"Needles, cold," said another participant.

Once they are in, it's a race to get back out and find a towel.

Brian Vining, who lives in Graniteville, and his two kids took on the polar plunge family style.

"Tucker wanted to do it, Tori wanted to do it, they kind of have their father's adventurous spirit,” said Vining.

It's not his first time doing a polar plunge.

“My first time doing a polar bear club was in 1997 in New York City, I did the Coney Island in the North Atlantic," said Vining.

But even a few states south, he says the water is still chilly.

“Cold is cold no matter where you are," said Vining.

Now jumping into 50-degree water may not be everyone's idea of fun but Brian isn't alone.

Claudia Nizamuldin is also doing the Polar Plunge. Her friends are the ones who put her up to it.

“They had to convince me to do it I was very anxious and excited, it was definitely worth it, was a lot of fun," said Nizamuldin.

She even got her niece to join her.

“This was definitely an experience and a half," said Jessica Vogt, who is visiting from Hawaii.

As for why they did it, it was mostly for the experience but there is a small prize.

"Half off the kayak rental is awesome but it's awesome just to do something for the New Year to like ring it in, you know get baptized in the waters of the river,"

“It's so amazing just to be able to bring your family out to do something fun and silly like this," said

This is the third year they've done the Polar Plunge at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and they say they'll be back again next year.