WINTHROP — The ice was thick, the water cold, and the spirits high Saturday for the noontime plunge into Maranacook Lake.

Dozens of people linked up to leap into the lake, and they raised more than $28,000 for Special Olympics Maine in the fourth annual Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run Ice Out Plunge.

They jumped into estimated 31-degree water through a hole in the ice cut by officers with the Maine Warden Service.

Wardens and Winthrop firefighters in dry suits, which help insulate them from the cold and the water, waited in the water to assist jumpers to a set of stairs so they could climb out quickly and grab towels. The cold dips were witnessed by hundreds of people standing on shore and on the ice.

Josh Deanda-Whaley and Sandor Doczy-Bordi, 13-year-old friends from Winthrop, each took the plunge as part of the Pond Town Pub team.

It was Josh’s second year and Sandor’s first. Afterward, Sandor said he might return for another year.

“It was really fun,” he said. “After a while it felt warm.”

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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