40,000 Dutch Take Polar Plunge:

A record 40,000 people braved icy temperatures on the Netherlands'

North Sea coast Tuesday to take a cold plunge, setting a new record for

the traditional New Year's Day dip, organisers said.

"There were

around 10,000 swimmers in Scheveningen and a record number of 40,000

across the Netherlands," spokeswoman Jiske Barten said.

In the

resort of Scheveningen, a district of The Hague and the main spot among

the 102 nationwide for the growing annual event, many of the bathers

wore Christmas hats and sported swimwear in the national orange colour

as they ran into the sea, screaming and laughing despite the water

temperature of eight degrees Celsius (46 Fahrenheit).

"The outside

temperature is also around eight degrees Celsius, but with the wind

chill the felt air temperature is closer to zero," Barten said.


a bit crazy but it's a tradition. If you're Dutch, you have to do it at

least once in your life," said Sander Veltahuizen, a 29-year-old who

said he was taking the New Year cold plunge for the 11th year running.