VIDEO ADDED: Brave souls endure 35-degree water for Onset's annual Polar Bear Dive

Jan 2, 2013

Clad in bathing suits, superhero costumes, and even pajamas, more than 100 people plunged into Onset Bay on New Year's Day for the Box 5 Association's annual Polar Bear Dive.

The water was a frigid 35 degrees, according to volunteer divers who monitored the brave participants -- and the air wasn't much warmer.

It was a stark contrast to last year's dive day, when the temperature of the air was 50 degrees, and due to mild weather, the water hadn't had a chance to cool down as much.

Still, many repeat divers -- from near and far -- showed up to take a dip.

"It was 50 degrees, that's why we did it last year," said Andrea Higuera of New Jersey, who drove to Wareham specifically for the event.

A friend who lives in town convinced Higuera to do it again this year. "We almost backed out, but we're here. We drove all the way over here last night," she said.

Higuera was dressed in a Snow White costume she had kicking around, and there was some strategy in her choice.

"It was the longest" costume she had, she explained, "and would cover more, just in case. For the cold."

Friends Monica Kelley and Cindy Reed, who hail from much warmer states -- North Carolina and Mississippi -- donned big, leopard-print hats for the dive.

The Coast Guard brought the ladies to cold New England. (As Kelley puts it: "They were called 'orders,' not 'invitations.'")

Kelley has participated in other chilly winter dives, so she knew what to expect.

"For charity, wash away 2012... why not?" Kelley said was her reason for braving the chilly water. "Start the new year out with a bang!"

Reed was skeptical as she shivered on the beach before the dive.

After the plunge, Kelley said the water was "fabulous. A little cold. Just a little."

Reed smiled, but continued shivering, to which Reed said: "This is her first year! She'll be fine!"

It was 9-year-old Wareham resident Thomas Pelletier's first time doing the dive. He dressed as Superman.

Before the plunge, he said his strategy was to "just jump in."

Asked if he thought he was going to be cold, he said simply: "No!"

Hey, the Man of Steel doesn't get cold, right?

The Box 5 Association uses the proceeds from the Polar Bear Dive -- its biggest fundraiser -- to fund scholarships, fill food baskets for the needy during the holidays, and support other charitable causes.

Dive organizer Dave Mark said he was pleased with the turnout, and was impressed with the number of supporters who showed up, even if just to watch the brave souls from a safe distance.

"We had a lot more spectators," Mark said. "More people willing to watch than go in!"

Check back here on Wednesday afternoon for video from the dive!