The Polar Bear Club and Circle Line Cruises, which sponsored the event, said participants stripped down on the deck of a cruise ship Saturday on the Hudson River to collect donations for each minute they spent in the cold wearing nearly nothing, the New York Daily News reported Monday.
Proceeds from the event went to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the city's Bronx Zoo.
"You're doing this for wildlife, but you're nuts," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told participants before the cruise.
"This will not be as bad as the swim," Bronx Zoo boss Jim Breheny said, referring to the annual Coney Island Polar Bear New Year's Day plunge. "When you come off, you're still dry at least."
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).