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Viral Cold Water Challenge Prompts Warning For Duluthians From U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

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Social media has been abuzz lately with a trend called “Cold Water Challenge” – in which people tag their friends, challenging them to jump into nearby icy waterways within a specific time-frame.  These challenges often have supposed charitable ties.  The results can be dangerous.  Unlike established charitable “jump” events, these homemade challenges don’t featured medical and emergency personnel on site to maintain everyone’s safety.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is issuing a warning to Northlanders that jumping and swimming on federally-controlled waterways is not only dangerous, but it is illegal.

Over the weekend, an Army Corps official stopped a college-age person who was attempting to jump from the Duluth Pier.  The estimated water depth in that area is 30 feet – something that the jumper wouldn’t have known.  In addition, the extremely cold water temperature could have resulted in the “gasp reflex” in the diver – in which the shock of the cold water can cause someone to inadvertently take water into their lungs.

The U.S. Army Corps reminds everyone that the structures in the shipping canal and pier are not designed for recreational swimming or diving.

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