University of Alaska Southeast students run out of the freezing water after jumping into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska Southeast students run out of the freezing water after jumping into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Freezin’ for a reason: UAS students and Juneau residents take a plunge at Auke Bay

According to officials, the water temperature was 37 degrees during the time of the plunge.

Seals weren’t the only thing in the cold ocean water of Auke Bay this weekend.

On Saturday afternoon more than 100 University of Alaska Southeast students and Juneau residents braved the rain and snow to participate in the 25th annual UAS Polar Plunge, a part of the university’s student Winterfest.

“It’s just always fun to have a campus tradition during the winter that builds camaraderie and brings the community together,” said Mallory Nash, UAS student engagement manager.

Nash said this year is the first time since the pandemic began that the plunge has brought back the event to its full capacity including music, food and most importantly — hot tubs. Since its fruition, the event served as a fundraiser for a variety of different organizations, however, COVID halted that aspect of the event. Nash said UAS hopes to bring back the fundraiser in the upcoming years.

Along with the participants, a handful of Capital City Fire/Rescue swimmers were in the water to ensure everyone’s safety.

Craig Brown, a firefighter with CCFR said it’s always a fun event to be a part of and make sure everyone is having a good and safe time.

According to CCFR Assistant Chief Ed Quinto, the water temperature was 37 degrees and outside temperature was 33 degrees at the time of the plunge.

“Everything thing went great and to plan, I think there was more UAS student than I’ve ever since I’ve been doing it — it was like double the amount and we even had a team member jump into the water,” he said, laughing.

See photos from the event below:

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

A group of University of Alaska Southeast students jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

A group of University of Alaska Southeast students jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska Southeast’s mascot, Spike, leads students and residents to jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska Southeast’s mascot, Spike, leads students and residents to jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

A group of University of Alaska Southeast students jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

A group of University of Alaska Southeast students jump into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska Southeast students relax in a hot tub after jumping into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska Southeast students relax in a hot tub after jumping into the waters of Auke Bay on Saturday afternoon for the 25th UAS Polar Plunge. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

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