The Fairhaven Polar Plunge has become an increasingly popular New Years Day tradition on the SouthCoast.

This year, nearly 300 people dove into the chilly Atlantic waters off of Fort Phoenix Reservation in Fairhaven. Thanks to this year's Hawaiian theme, many sported their best floral shirts and hula skirts.

Participants ranged from first-timers to seasoned pros. Gerry has been taking the plunge since the very beginning and continues the fun as a way to kick off the new year.

"It's absolutely the best way to ring in the new year," Gerry said. "Seriously, you get out of that water and you can accomplish anything."

Evan and Katie made the trip all the way from Worcester to take part in their first Polar Plunge, but they weren't threatened by the chilly water.

"It seems like an amazing way to start the new year and money for charity is something we always like to do," said Evan.

The charity involved with the event is Fairhaven Dollars for Scholars, which provides scholarships to Fairhaven High School students pursuing a degree in fields such as criminal justice or sociology.

Sherry Lopes, one of the event's organizers, says the original goal was to honor victims of domestic violence and now these scholarships are used to help young students take an active approach to ending the violence.