Grandfather, 68, among New Year's Day divers into Rome's River Tiber

Four men, including a grandfather of five, dived off a bridge into the River Tiber in Rome to continue a New Year's Day tradition that goes back decades.

The first one was in 1946 but the January 1 custom happened intermittently until 1989 when a group of divers started it again.

Among those diving the 15 metres into the river was Maurizio Palmulli, age 68, who did his 32nd Tiber dive on Wednesday.

Afterwards, Palmulli said he would go and have a New Year's Day lunch with his five children and five grandchildren and then take a nap.

Marco Fois, age 56, on his third year as a participant to the Tiber dive, explained that the 15 metres from the bridge down to the water are a little higher compared to the height he is used to, so he would try "to make the least mistakes possible".

A team of divers from Rome's firefighter squad stood by in a dinghy watching for any flotsam and jetsam floating down the river.

They plucked the divers out of the murky water moments after each dive.

Women dressed in Christmas costumes were watching the event from their rowing boat in the river.