MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAU) -- A social media sensation is getting more dangerous. It’s called the Cold Water Challenge.
Many people, usually teenagers, challenge others to jump into very cold water or donate money to charity, post the video to social media, and then pass the challenge on to others. This time, a Marshfield teenager added even more danger to the dare. He lit his clothes on fire before jumping into a pond near Trout Road. A friend took the video and posted it to Facebook on May 6th. The video was taken down from the social media site after Marshfield police talked with the boy and his parents.
The Cold Water Challenge has already caused several serious injuries, and a death. 16-year-old Davis Colley died in Minnesota’s Eagle Lake Friday, May 9th taking the dangerous dare. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin area teenager Kayla Jacob is lucky to be alive after jumping into Lake Winnebago and landing in shallow water May 6th. The razor sharp zebra mussel shells and rocks damaged her knee, ankle, and her leg muscles. She will be missing athletic activities for most of the year. There have been several other reports of injuries due to jumping into dangerous or shallow water.
Police and medical professionals are urging people not to take the Cold Water Challenge, saying it is dangerous and much different than organized Polar Plunge events because Polar Plunges are done in a controlled site using safety precautions and emergency help is readily available.