Four Italians have dived into the cold and dirty waters of Rome's Tiber river to mark the start of the new year.

Hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the four men plunge from the Cavour Bridge in the center of the city from a height of more than 50 feet on a cold and windy day Friday.

The stunt — including flips and turns by the divers — is regarded as dangerous since the waters of the Tiber are cold and muddy, and the river is not really deep enough for a dive from such a height.

But everything went fine Friday, and one of the divers emptied a bottle of champagne into the river before diving from the bridge.

The event is an annual New Year tradition dating back to 1946, when a lifeguard who was trying to find work leapt into the waters from the Cavour Bridge to advertise his skills. Since then, it has become annual event.