More than 40 swimmers and at least twice as many observers were on hand New Year’s Day, as warm air temperatures greeted the sixth annual dip into Penobscot Bay waters to raise money for the Derek O’Brien Trust.

The event takes place each year at Lincolnville Beach. The trust is named for Derek O’Brien, who suffered a broken spine in a 2005 swimming accident.

The tradition is for swimmers to take a quick dip in the ocean at noon, and donate money collected from family and friends to the Polar Challenge cause. This year, unseasonably warm weather may have helped persuade the 42 participants to shed their winter clothes and run into the water in swimsuits, shorts and other light wear.

The water temperature at the 2010 dip hovered around 41 degrees Fahrenheit, with the air temperature approximately 13 degrees cooler. Snow was falling and there was a breeze off the water.

Additional donations may be made to the Derek O’Brien Trust, c/o Peter Roper, 10 Spring St., Camden, ME 04843.