Pool water temperature below freezing as ECU hosts 28th annual Polar Plunge

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The surge of cold weather we’re currently seeing this week in the east, has many avoiding the chilly outdoors but not East Carolina University students and staff as they took a cold dive at the annual Polar Plunge Thursday.

If you’re someone who’s a part of the ECU family, then you’re used to seeing people lined up outside the Eakin Student Rec Center every winter as they eagerly wait to dive into an ice-cold pool.

“I’ve never jumped into a cold pool, but this will be fun,” said Luke Castillo, ECU student.

Students want to participate in a lot of things before graduating, but there’s probably nothing more bucket-list material than the annual Polar Plunge.

This year’s 28th edition of the spring semester kick-off, saw many bare the cold waters.

“I stood in line for two hours last year and stood in line for three hours today,” said Kaliyah Crowder, ECU student. “It’s an amazing experience, it’s just the cold initial shock.”

“This is my first year here but hearing my friends tell me about the experiences they had doing it, I feel like I had to be a part of history too,” said Eligah Robbins, ECU student.

Eastern Carolina is currently experiencing a snap of cold weather, which caused the pool water to be at 31 degrees Thursday.

ECU students believe being cold is temporary, but the Polar Plunge tradition lasts forever.

“This season of life in college is temporary so being able to participate in the Polar Plunge is like a final hooray for us as seniors,” said Shane Trotman, ECU student.

“Some people want to be normal and mediocre, but not here at ECU,” Robbins said.

“We really are truly a Pirate Nation,” Crowder said.

WITN Chief Meteorologist Zach Holder also joined in on the fun as he took the cold splash for a second year in a row.

ECU says Thursday’s temperatures weren’t the coolest they’ve seen during a plunge.

The university estimates that around 800 people participated in this year’s plunge.