Viral 'Cold Water Challenge' May Be Linked to Teen's Death, Other Injuries

What school officials want parents to know about it.

ByABC News
May 12, 2014, 10:06 AM

May 12, 2014— -- The "cold water challenge" sweeping social media may have started with the intention to raise money for charity, however the viral dare may be connected to at least one death and a host of injuries.

The body of Davis Colley, 16, was pulled from Minnesota's Eagle Lake on Friday night after the teen's friends said he participated in a "cold water challenge" but never returned to the surface, according to ABC News' Minneapolis-St. Paul affiliate KSTP-TV.

Although his body was recovered later that night by Carver County sheriff's deputies, they were not able to immediately link his death to the challenge since it was believed he was alone when he went for a swim.

Police told local media the incident remains under investigation.

In the Internet game, students nominate someone to jump into Lake Michigan and then a video of the subsequent plunge is posted online before a new person is tapped to take the challenge.

According to local reports, Colley was alone when he went for a swim Friday night.

The rules of the dare have differed around the country, with some people donating to charity for each of their nominations who complete the plunge, while others have been given the the ultimatum to either jump or donate.

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Several students at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois have been injured after jumping into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan to complete the dare, school spokeswoman Nicole Dizon told ABC News.

"We know about a fractured ankle, a student who had to get stitches to the head and some minor sprains and injuries," Dizon said.

"The main thing is, if you're jumping into the lake, the lake is murky. You're not sure how deep it is," she said. "There can be rocks and other things in the lake and at this time of year, the lifeguards aren't on duty."

The issue has become so concerning for administrators. Dizon said, that they sent home a letter to parents last week and this week are sitting down with students in small groups to discuss the dangers posed by the viral dare.

"This seemed like a fun, harmless thing to do and we understand that," she said, "but we also know going into the lake at this time of year is something that can be dangerous."