New Year's Day plunge into the Atlantic Ocean is annual hit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Anybody looking to jump into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Sullivan's Island can join in on the New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge.

The 19th annual event hosted by Dunleavy's Pub draws people looking for the challenge of plunging into the frigid ocean to start the new year.

There is no fee to take part, but donations that go to the Special Olympics{}are accepted.{} The partnership with the Special Olympics was a hit from the start.

"In 2003, we were affiliated with Special Olympics for the first time with Trista Kutcher who is a local Mt. Pleasant resident.{} And she needed to raise some money to go over to the Special Olympics in Ireland.{} So, they hooked up with us being an Irish Pub.{} We said sure we'll do it, and we raised enough money to send her and her whole family over to Ireland so they could watch her compete.{} And, ever since then we've had a very beneficial relationship, both ways, with Special Olympics." said co-owner of Dunleavy's Pub, Jamie Maher.

Dunleavy's Pub raised $4,500 last year.{}

Swimmers will hit the water from the beach behind Dunleavy's at 2 p.m. on New Year's Day.