Milwaukee's Dive Rescue Team preps for Polar Bear Plunge

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by Shakara Robinson

MILWAUKEE -- As hundreds of pumped up participants prepare to take to the icy waters of Lake Michigan for the annual Polar Bear Plunge, the Milwaukee Fire Department's Dive Rescue Team is preparing to keep swimmers safe at the event.

Although the dive team is prepared to help swimmers in the event of an emergency, Captain Chris Schutte, director of the Dive Rescue Team said there are things participants can do to help protect themselves, like wearing shoes in the water.  

"A good pair of shoes that will stay on your feet will protect from the sharp pieces of ice and even rocks in the water that you may not be able to see," Schutte said. 

People with heart conditions are advised to not take part in the event. 

"The cold water shock can put a strain on your heart and cause medical problems," Schutte said. 

The Polar Bear Plunge is at noon Wednesday at Milwaukee's Bradford Beach.

There is no charge and no registration, but participants are advised to arrive early since parking is limited. 

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