Coast guard warns about dangers of 'Cold Water Challenge'
It's one of the latest things to hit social media, the 2014 Cold Water Challenge, but the coast guard says it could cause serious harm to those who participate.
People have been jumping into icy bodies of water after being nominated or challenged by their friends on social media. If you don't accept the challenge, the rules say that you must donate $100 to a charity of your choice.
"An inherently dangerous activity that has become popular with our younger generation," said BMCS Robert Nendza, Officer in Charge for Coast Guard Station Frankfort.
Nendza says that taking this dip could send someone into shock, cause hypothermia, and other physical injuries.
"Not knowing what is below your water can cause neck injuries or other impact injuries."
A west Michigan man was seriously injured recently while doing the Cold Water Challenge. According to WWMT in Kalamazoo, the man was paralyzed after running out into the water then diving in.
The coast guard says they can't stop people from going in but they would like to educate them on how to stay safe if they choose to do the chilly plunge. They say having someone on shore besides the camera person is important in case of an emergency. Wearing, or at least having a life jacket nearby, and having warm clothes and towels on shore are just some of the things that they say could save your life.
"We understand this is supposed to be a fun activity and it's for a good cause, but we want to make sure that you are dressed appropriately and that you don't become a casualty for the cause," said Nendza.
The coast guard suggests that anyone who does the challenge, should walk into the water gradually and not run or jump. Nendza says it can give your body extra time to adapt to the cold water.