Divers dip into freezing Iowa water

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Divers plunged into the freezing Iowa waters – not once, but three times – Saturday afternoon in Bettendorf.

The team of nearly a dozen divers represents Scuba Adventures QCA, a diving group in Bettendorf.

Their recent dive was unusual compared to most.

“What’s scary is that you can’t go up because there is ice up there,” said Joe Collins.

Joe has been doing this for five years, but he wants to take is hobby to the next level. That level is getting his ice diving certification.

For a diver to receive their ice diving certificate, they must dive at least 3 times under the ice.

“Tell me again why I chose today to do this,” Joe said as he lifted himself out of the water.

But Joe has several friends who joined him in the frigid water.

James Allen, a U.S. Army veteran, has been diving since 1985. But not like this.

“I have never done anything quite like this before,” James said as steam rolled off his body.

James has lived in Hawaii the past 15 years before moving to the Quad Cities.

Just two weeks ago, James was soaking up the sunshine while surrounded by palm trees.  In just a few short days, he found himself playing in the bitter Iowa waters in the dead of winter.

“This is a one-time shot here,” James said.

When the divers submerge, they hold on to a 100-feet-long rope.  that connects them to a buddy who helps guide him.  It’s truly an art.

Joe Collins loves it.

“People ask me, 'Why would you do something like this in this weather?' and I’m just like, 'Why not?'”