OCEAN CITY, MD - Old Man Winter was not going to stop several brave souls from jumping into the frigid Atlantic Monday afternoon, all for a good cause.
The 24th Annual Penguin Swim was held outside of the Princess Royale hotel in Ocean City on Monday. The crowd was a bit smaller than in previous years which can be directly linked to just how cold it was. However, those in attendance were enthusiastic about being part of the event and said the cold would not stop them from swimming.
Many even came with a strategy of how to handle the cold and the water.
"What you have to do is when you hit your knees, you just go down. Because your body is telling you to go the opposite direction. So, as soon as you get to your knees in, you got to lay down and go under. That's it. And then you're running back out," said Ben O'Malley of Ocean Pines. O'Malley said this was his fifth straight Penguin Swim and by far the coldest.
The goal of the annual event is to raise money for the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation and the charitable aspect of the day is a big driving force to get people to come out every January 1st.
"I mean, the adventure is awesome, but to support the hospital is really cool," said Jason Pyryt of Townsend, Delaware.
At 1 o'clock, it was time to swim. It was 20 degrees in Ocean City with the wind making it feel much colder. The water was just 39 degrees. But that did not stop the crowd of people from marching towards the water and jumping in with a smile on their faces.
On a day that saw similar event up and down the East Coast cancelled because of the cold, the "penguins" swam in Ocean City. It was a brief swim, and a very cold one, but a memorable one as well. All in the name of a good cause.