EXCELSIOR, Minn. (AP) — Almost 800 people from around the U.S. and world plunged into chilly Lake Minnetonka to welcome the New Year.

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Organizers of the 23rd annual ALARC Ice Dive say it was a frigid 9 degrees, with a water temperature of 31.7 degrees, when the hearty divers took to the water at 8:30 Tuesday morning near the Bay Side Event Center in Excelsior.

Divers came from Minnesota as well as numerous U.S. states and from Italy, Brazil, Germany, Thailand and elsewhere.

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Twenty-one divers achieved “Shark” status for successfully completing 10 years of dives, while three divers — including founder Bill Wenmark — were recognized for at least 20 years of dives.

The event, which was started by a few friends initially, benefits a handful of local charities.

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