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6:30 AM Tue, July 17th

Bitter cold spurs cancellation of polar bear plunges

Residents react after jumping in the water in Prescott Valley's annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Residents react after jumping in the water in Prescott Valley's annual Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

VENTNOR, N.J. (AP) — Polar bear plunges planned in three New Jersey towns on New Year’s Day have been canceled or postponed because organizers think it will be too cold outside.

Ventnor officials say the event’s organizers recently contacted them with concerns about the safety of participants who would be jumping into the Atlantic Ocean. They noted that the forecast calls for a high of around 20 degrees on Monday while water temperature likely will be in the mid-40s.

City officials agreed the event should be postponed, saying they would rather “err on the side of safety.”

Ocean City officials announced Thursday that their plunge had also been canceled due to the bitter cold. It’s not clear if the annual fundraising events will be rescheduled.

A fundraising event planned in Brigantine for New Year’s Day will now be held Jan. 13.

Polar bear plunges planned for Monday in Atlantic City and Margate are still due to take place.