Hundreds of swimmers jumped into the freezing waters of Boston Harbor Sunday morning for the annual New Year's Day polar bear plunge.

An estimated 600 to 700 swimmers joined the L Street Brownies in the annual New Year's Day polar bear plunge, The Boston Globe reported.

Freddy Ahern, director of the Curley Community Center, where the event is held, announced the beginning of the plunge by counting down from five through a bull horn.

"It was like a baptism with ice," said Anna Byrne, 47, who was visiting from Dublin, Ireland.

Byrne said she jumped in twice, "because the first time I didn't get my hair wet. The first time it was cold. The second time it was not so bad."

"What other way is there to bring in the New Year than with a bunch of crazy friends," said Justin Brown, 30, an investment adviser from South Boston.