WWMT - wwmt.com - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Coast Guard offers 'Cold Water Challenge' tips

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's a story we have been following for over a week now.

People on Facebook are daring their friends to jump into frigid water as part of a growing trend called the Cold Water Challenge.

Anyone who refuses the challenge has to make a charitable donation.

It may sound harmless enough, but it can be dangerous if not done properly.

Last week, Newschannel 3 reported on a Sturgis man who hit his head during the challenge diving into shallow water, and is now paralyzed.

Doctors are saying that besides drowning and hypothermia, there are other potential health hazards.

"A certain percentage of the population has an underlying cardiac abnormality that they may be aware of; entering cold water quickly could trigger a potentially fatal cardiac rhythm," said Dr. Jim Carothers, an ER doctor with Marquette General Hospital.

Doctors say if you still plan on doing the challenge, they recommend entering the water slowly to minimize shock to your body.

The Coast Guard has also released a list of tips to stay safe during the challenge.

They agree with doctors saying you should go into the water slowly, and with friends--more than just whoever is running the camera.

They say it's important in case someone needs to get help quickly.

Also, know where you are swimming.

Avoid areas where you don't know the depth or don't know of potential underwater hazards.