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FNS Photo by Helmut Schmidt Rich Plecity, seen May 18 in Fargo, runs an excavating firm in Valley City. He used a rope to pull a teen girl from the Sheyenne River on May 17. Plecity said he was walking his dog when he heard screaming from this bridge between Osgood and the Carmell Place developments. Plecity said he believed the girl and her friends were taking part in a “cold water challenge” with her jump into the frigid river.

Cold plunges take hold but pose risks: Jumping into frigid waters a trend for teens


FARGO — It used to be an insult to tell someone to go jump in a lake.

Now, it’s apparently a challenge to have fun, often with a hook requiring a donation to charity.

What has been dubbed the “cold water challenge,” a YouTube and Facebook social media craze that has swept across much of the nation, has come to roost in the Red River Valley.

Just ask Alicia Severson, whose 16-year-old daughter took part in a plunge without mom’s permission.

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