A traditional leap into the new year

Mr Marco Fois of Italy diving into the Tiber River from the Cavour bridge, as part of New Year celebrations in Rome yesterday.

Three men dived into the muddy waters from the bridge, continuing an annual tradition that dates back to 1946. Hundreds of people gathered to watch and cheer them on.

The tradition began 70 years ago when an unemployed lifeguard tried to find a job as a stuntman and jumped into the river from the bridge to show his diving abilities.

Despite the cold temperature and murky waters, most of the divers return to jump each year.

A safety boat awaits the divers in the river, which runs through the centre of Rome, and picks them up after their jump.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2016, with the headline 'A traditional leap into the new year'. Print Edition | Subscribe