Milwaukee polar bears prepare for a lake dip

CREATED Jan. 1, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- Brave souls will be taking the plunge into Lake Michigan Wednesday afternoon.

Organizers cut a hole in the ice on Monday for the annual New Year’s Day polar bear plunge! Those daring enough should arrive before the noon start time. Organizers suggest bringing a sleeping bag, towels and wool blankets.

The lake is 36 degrees, which will be warmer than the air temperature.

Experts say the polar bear plunge is generally safe, despite the cold water shocking your body.

But they warn that inexperienced polar bears could have heart attacks if they already have high blood pressure or another underlying heart condition, because the cold causes a spike in heart rate and blood pressure.