Nearly 180 people take polar plunge in Peoria to raise money, awareness for water safety

Arctic temps in and around the valley call for a polar plunge, and that's what took place in Peoria this morning. Dozens braved the cold for a good cause.

A ten second count down wasn't enough time to prepare for what may have been the iciest dive this group has ever taken. 

"Oh my gosh, it felt like I did a belly flop when I dove in, said Brian Moissonnier who took the polar plunge this morning.

Nearly 180 people braved near freezing temperatures outside and 40 degree water to participate in the city of Peoria's annual Polar plunge, an event centered around water safety.

"We're just trying to raise awareness," Moissonnier said. "Don't forget your pool is back there. We still need to be diligent."

According to the latest statistics from the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, there were 53 drowning deaths in 2014 in Maricopa and Pinal counties. More than a dozen of those deaths were children and 6 were teens. In total, there were 152 water-related incidents

The Peoria Fire Departments says swimming pools pose a risk every day of the year.

"We sometimes forget because we are not using the pool in the winter time, so we forget it's there. Drowning is a year round problem in Arizona."

Today's plunge is all in good fun. It served as a better reminder of how dangerous the water can be, especially when it's so cold. Plus, it helped raise money to pay for swim lessons for children.
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