LAKE VIEW TERRACE (CBSLA.com) — Nearly two dozen thrill-seekers kicked off the new year on Tuesday with a traditional morning swim in near-freezing water in Lake View Terrace.

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KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center hosted its annual New Year’s Day “Polar Bear Swim”.

The swim – which is open to participants aged 8 and older – involves either swimming or walking into the 3-feet-deep water which averages between 37 and 42 degrees and cross the 150-yard length of the pool.

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Refreshments and a crackling bonfire greeted participants immediately following the swim.

But for Anson Fam, the ordeal was anything but a leisurely dip in the pool.

“Pretty much like getting stabbed with little pin needles all over the place,” Fam said. “It burned…it was rough.”

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The aquatic center located in the northeast San Fernando Valley features a 1.5-acre manmade swim lake in addition to its pool.