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Recent reports are that a Coon Rapids man is facing charges because of his promotion of the Cold-Water- Challenge.  The Minneapolis Tribune reported:

A 19-year-old Coon Rapids man faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for participating in a YouTube stunt jump off a Brooklyn Park bridge last week that had rescue crews scrambling by air, land and water.

Joseph Mark Sanislo told investigators that he was participating in was is called a cold-water challenge, in which someone jumps into a cold body of water after being “nominated” on a social media site. The dangerous jump, alternatively called the “plunge and pose,” generally requires a videographer to record the moment. When someone is nominated via social media, he or she usually is offered the alternatives of jumping or donating money to charity.

The national stories are all over the place:

Illinois High School Warns Parents About “ColdWater …  NBC Chicago

Viral ‘Cold Water Challenge‘ May Be Linked to Teen’s Death …

The challenge on its face seems dumb.  However, there are major concerns about the idea beyond just being a stunt.

–  Jumping into cold water can cause quick gasps which can lead to very fast drownings.

– The interest seems to be more into the taping than into having safety measures available.

–  There are major municipal costs when the police are called and respond with divers and boats.

As KSTP Fox 9 reported:

Water below 70 degrees is considered cold by the DNR. Currently, the average temperature of lake water is just 40 degrees.

“Your body does an involuntary gasp when you jump into that water, and that can cause you to breathe in water,” Owens explained. “You can drown from only a half a cup of water in your system.”

In fact, even though the group that jumped into Lake Calhoun had adult supervision, doctors who spoke with Fox 9 News say that unless there is an adult around who is actually trained in water rescue and CPR, it’s still an unsafe stunt.

Some point out the fundraising aspect as making the idea worth it, but  why would such an unsafe and extreme option be needed?   Alternatively,  are we going to see Russian Roulette  or Lion Fighting as the option in the future?    Seems like they could raise even more money.   Interestingly, it seems as though true charities which are based on an individuals loss or suffering would never want to be involved with an activity that may add to the overall losses.


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