Coast Guard warns of 'Cold Water Challenge' - WNEM TV 5

Coast Guard warns of 'Cold Water Challenge'

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It's a trend that is sweeping the state that many young adults are taking part in but the Coast Guard is warning against the dangers of it.

It's called the 'Cold Water Challenge' and it involves jumping into a freezing cold body of water as part of a challenge. A person who is challenged has 24 hours to jump into the cold body of water or they must donate $100 to a charity of their choice.

That person then challenges another person and the list goes on.

TV5 made a plea on Facebook to see if anyone in Mid-Michigan has done it. The response was overwhelming. Dozens of TV5 viewers are doing it, mostly to raise money for a good cause, like a charity or someone in need.

Part of the challenge is to capture you doing it. But the Coast Guard has issued a warning related specifically to this trend by saying it's unsafe.

"Number one thing they have to be concerned about is a shock to their body temperature," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Donald Hamilton.

Officials said polar plunges, although usually done in much colder weather, are carefully organized with medics present.

But that's not stopping some of our viewers who say it's a fun and important way to raise money for charity.

"This means a lot to me that I can raise money," said Patrick May, participant in the challenge.

May is planning on taking the challenge Thursday. Originally if a person refused to jump in, they had to donate to a charity. In May's case he's doing both.

Meanwhile the coast guard said they don't expect the Cold Water Challenge to stop, but they hope people will take their advice and stay safe.

Do you think this is an appropriate fundraiser to participate in? You can weigh in by sending TV5 an email or by posting to the TV5 Facebook page.

And if you have any photos or video to share of your cold water challenges, you can also post those to the Facebook page.

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