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New Year’s frigid swim a huge success
Ostend was no exception to a tradition found around world Saturday, as the brave shed their winter clothes for a refreshing swim in the North Sea. The annual ‘Ice bearing’ plunge attracted 5,500 people into the cold waters.
This year’s turnout was a record, most likely aided by the above average temperatures this winter. With the thermometer hitting nine degrees, it was the perhaps one of the best moments to take part. In the past, the ‘Ice bearers’ had to put up with temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark.
Swimmers arrived from all over Belgium to welcome 2014 with a cleansing, but cold, bath. In support of the bathers, another 10,000 turned out to cheer them on and aid in the celebration with a post-swim soup and alcohol beverage.