Quit Polar Plunging, Kids: The Latest 'Teen Fad' Is Downright Silly
We've all heard about them, witnessed one, or even darted into the freezing cold water during one. Yup, we're taking about polar plunges, which are growing in popularity around the country. Even Jimmy Fallon plunged into Lake Michigan recently. Usually, polar plunges are for charity — complete with EMTs on standby; a limit on how long you can be in the water; and plenty of towels and hot beverages to warm participants up. Unfortunately, some New England teenagers are challenging one another to take a polar plunge challenge without supervision, without a life jacket, and sometimes in dangerous waters.
Apparently, teens dare one another other to jump into a body of freezing water without a life jacket. They have a friend nearby to record them doing the dangerous deed, dare three friends to do the same thing within 24 hours, and then post the video on Facebook or other social-media sites.
"Our concern is if you jump into a river, it's too unpredictable as to whether you're going to be able to get out safely," Exeter, New Hampshire Fish and Game Capt. John Wimsatt told SeaCoastOnline.com.
One polar plunge stunt a few weeks ago, which isn't believed to be done on a dare, has already resulted in one death in New Hampshire. 32-year-old Aaron Hoyt jumped into the Smith River with a friend and his fiancee. They were all swept down the river. Despite his friend and fiancee's efforts to rescue him, Hoyt never resurfaced.
"We believe Hoyt was aware of the Polar Plunge trend, and his likely death from this incident is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous actions such as those promoted by that trend can be," New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Lt. James Kneeland told CBS Boston.
But videos are popping up all over the Internet, and according to WCAX, teens are pretty into it. "I got dared by a friend. I was kind of hoping it would happen because I have fun doing that kind of stuff. I did it three days in a row this weekend," says Luke Detwiler, according to WCAX.
Vermont State Police Scuba Team Sgt. Ray LeBlanc told WCAX that plunging into cold water can cause hypothermia, shock, and cardiac arrest. LeBlanc says, "the whole situation raises red flags." You're telling us...