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Clement weather a relief for NYC New Year bathers

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Clement weather a relief for NYC New Year bathers

By the standards of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, it was practically a day at the beach for participants in the annual New Year's Day dip in the ocean off New York City.

Hundreds of people took the plunge on Tuesday afternoon, when the unseasonably warm temperature was in the high 50s (13 to 15 Celsius).

It was quite a departure from last year, when the temperature was just 17 degrees, (minus 8 Celsius).

Some participants dressed as Santa, sharks or in other costumes as they took to the Atlantic. They say it's a way to start the new year fresh by washing off 2018.

The New York event goes back to 1903 and raises money for various charities.

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