Local divers take a dip despite single digit temperatures - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local divers take a dip despite single digit temperatures

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MASSAC COUNTY -- Plunging temperatures didn't stop some brave souls from taking a plunge of their own Monday.

With temperatures in the single digits scuba diving might be the last thing you'd think of doing, but people at Mermet Springs have been doing it every year on New Years day for more than 20 years.

More than 20 divers taking the plunge in single digit temperatures to scuba.

"It's scaring me, yesterday I was sitting at home thinking what am I doing and why am I doing this," said diver Kimberly Jackson.

"All of my family dives so its something we do together," added Jackson.

Then there are divers like Jack Harris.

"I've got about 2,104 dives right now," said Harris.

His new years dip marks 16 straight years of diving every month. 

"Scuba divers are one in their own for sure, it takes a breed to do this," added Harris.

Divers have been exploring the waters of Mermet Springs in Massac County on new years day for more than 20 years. 

"You got the guys who do the winter time swim who jump in the water so what the heck at least we're dressed for it," said Harris.

They're wearing dry suits that keep them warmer in the 42-degree water than on dry ground.

And if you're wondering why they take the dip every year.

"Just the freedom, it's a different world down there it's relaxing," added Harris.

If you'd like to learn more about taking scuba classes or getting certified, click here.

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