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Thousands Plunge Into Ocean in Coney Island on New Year's Day

Many New Yorkers love to celebrate the new year by dipping into the ocean.

Thousands of New Yorkers braved the cold water to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean Monday as part of the annual Coney Island New Year’s Day festivities. 

Hosted by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club since 1903, dippers and swimmers had warmer weather on their side as the temperature reached the upper-40s F midday. 

Rebecca Rent, a resident of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park South, said it felt like the beach was more crowded than last year and the check-in line was “blocks long." 

“I think more people are coming out because they want a connection, especially after the pandemic,” said Rent, who plunged into the water twice, first with a group of neighborhood buddies and later with another friend who came a little later. 

“It’s a nice way to start the year with a routine and connection with the people in my life,” said Rent.