SEATTLE -- More than 1,000 brave souls jumped into Lake Washington from Matthews Beach Tuesday to ring in the new year.

The water temperature was about 46 degrees at noon when the large group jumped into the water for Seattle's 11th annual Polar Plunge.

For me it's totally about washing off the last year, said Marla Deere, who has taken part in all 11 plunges.

Photos: Polar bear plunge at Alki

Andre Soares and Beatriz Coimbra, who are visiting from Brazil, where it is about 110 degrees, had never jumped into frigid waters before.

It was the worst experience ever! Coimbra said after emerging from the water.

Participants walked away with a badge of courage for successfully completing the plunge. Most spent no more than a few minutes in the lake.

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