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it's all fun and games until...
January 10, 2011 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Sea Ice Skating, it's all fun and games until a passing tugboat breaks up all the ice leaving you stranded on a thin sheet of frozen water!

The couple, in their 30s, used their mobile phone to call the Swedish coast guard at around 3pm, concerned the sun would soon set. Via CKCK
posted by Lanark (56 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great, now I have a new unreasoning fear.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:06 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Warning: very large images!
posted by pharm at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good news! Your new fear is greatly limited to the extreme northern and southern ends of the world (seeing as "ice flows" don't really occur except on really large bodies of water, though I guess you could fear getting stranded in the middle of a frozen lake that is thawing out.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an especially dangerous situation - one little slip and they'd be dragged to the bottom of the sea due to the weight of their enormous balls.
posted by exogenous at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


bah, they totally could have jumped from sheet to sheet all the way to shore.
posted by oddman at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know it's dangerous and everything but, damn, it's beautiful out there.
posted by fight or flight at 1:09 PM on January 10, 2011




* Stranded on a melting ice flow.

Great, now I have a new unreasoning fear.



Since acquiring a government job I've developed an irrational fear of flow charts. Is that anything the same?
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:10 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, the first image is a bit less than 2MB. Unfortunately, the large image is necessary to see that those two tiny specs on the sea of ice are actually people.

Also: direct link to tumblr post, for posterity.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:11 PM on January 10, 2011


It was fortunate that the ghost of Ansel Adams was on the rescue choppa! I mean that's a pretty great picture!
posted by Mister_A at 1:12 PM on January 10, 2011


bah, they totally could have jumped from sheet to sheet all the way to shore.

Wasn't this the premise for a video game? If not, it should be.
posted by cazoo at 1:13 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needs more polar bear.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:15 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is an especially dangerous situation - one little slip and they'd be dragged to the bottom of the sea due to the weight of their enormous balls.

Not to worry, exogenous! Their empty heads will keep them afloat!
posted by IAmBroom at 1:16 PM on January 10, 2011 [8 favorites]



-- bah, they totally could have jumped from sheet to sheet all the way to shore.

-- Wasn't this the premise for a video game? If not, it should be.


No, but it was featured in a 19th-century novel that was credited with starting the Civil War.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needs more polar bear.

How's this?
posted by fight or flight at 1:21 PM on January 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is it wrong that I want to go do this now?
posted by rosa at 1:23 PM on January 10, 2011


fight or flight, that GIF ended way too soon! Now I want to know the rest of the story.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:24 PM on January 10, 2011


How's this?

Awesome.
posted by The Bellman at 1:25 PM on January 10, 2011


not only is that place beautiful, you get bars on your cell phone. its already got two up on my apartment.
posted by Mach5 at 1:27 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


fight or flight, that GIF ended way too soon! Now I want to know the rest of the story.

See username.
posted by The Bellman at 1:34 PM on January 10, 2011


If this happened to me I'd be fucked, because I can't seem to get a call out on my phone from anywhere in this damn city, so I just watch my kids skate on the pond and wave from shore and hope for the best.
posted by padraigin at 1:35 PM on January 10, 2011


I didn't have quite a great sense of the scale in the first picture until looking at the second. Gaaaaah!

(I also do like that the guys in the helicopter decided to snap a pretty photo before rescuing the two extremely-helplessly-stranded skaters. I can't even imagine what was going through their minds...)
posted by schmod at 1:44 PM on January 10, 2011


They're ill-equipped for the circumstances. What they really needed was a three-piece suit. It's bound to turn every disaster into a voyage of discovery.
posted by lemuring at 1:53 PM on January 10, 2011


Wow! This makes me heart-stoppingly anxious! I totally forgot about the hours and hours and hours of terror drilled into us in my Canadian youth about the dangers of going out onto the ice in the spring/late fall. Now kids, if you get stuck on an ice-floe you're just inches from cold, frozen death - as soon as you get wet you have only minutes to get warm and or dry again before hypothermia sets in. Lie flat, stretch your arms out in all directions and try to distribute your weight... Jesus, it's all coming back to me and I don't really want it to. Why can't we keep that dog? Why won't Katie, the cute girl from next door talk to me? Gah! My Madeleine is the fear of being swept out to sea on a rapidly diminishing ice raft!
posted by From Bklyn at 1:55 PM on January 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I did something like this on the Mississippi. I stood on a giant ice flow and floated down stream. It was great fun for a quarter mile or so until I realized there was another flow edging in between myself and the shore. I thought of the whole "jump from flow to flow" thing, but as I edge closer to the second the one I was on started kinda tilting (it was too big to upend from my body weight). So I got panicky and decided what I needed was a running start. I miffed the jump. And landed in winter water. Now I have to get around a flow, not get knocked down by other, and get the hell out of the water.

I managed all of the above (probably in seconds) and then had to trudge home. I kept all my fingers and toes and probably wasn't in as much danger as I felt like, but if it had taken me minutes instead of seconds to get out of the water, and if I didn't live just up the road from my idiotic plunge, then things would have turned out a lot different.

I'm guessing I would have ended up with super powers.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:59 PM on January 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Floe, people, ice floe!
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:21 PM on January 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


I also do like that the guys in the helicopter decided to snap a pretty photo before rescuing the two extremely-helplessly-stranded skaters.

Yeah, can't say he made the wrong choice. He was losing the light and the skaters weren't going anywhere.
posted by ryanrs at 2:23 PM on January 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Great, now I have a new unreasoning fear. ... I did something like this on the Mississippi.

cjorgensen, while most people are rarely if ever in a situation where they are likely to be stranded on an ice floe, given your later comment above, yours seems like an entirely reasonable fear.

...it leads one to wonder where the other fears came from. Is there someone we should be looking for?
posted by maryr at 2:41 PM on January 10, 2011


Very scary.

Can i add fear to cjorgensen's list:

* Drowned in manure

Actual headline in my region a couple of years ago, i'm haunted since..
posted by CitoyenK at 2:49 PM on January 10, 2011


This needs to be made into a survival horror film. They don't succeed in getting rescued before it gets dark, and drift further into treacherous waters, only to realise that they're not alone...

(Perhaps the horror could be in the form of giant polar bears mutated by radiation from decaying Soviet nuclear lighthouses or something?)
posted by acb at 2:56 PM on January 10, 2011


Wasn't that drown in frozen manure?

And as far as going out on an ice floe again, I'm not 17 and dumb anymore (I'm 40 now). I also don't live anywhere near the Mississippi.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:57 PM on January 10, 2011


See, this is what people get for trying to live in environments that are so inhospitable that water regularly changes state to a solid. Ice should remain a kitchen tool.
posted by happyroach at 2:59 PM on January 10, 2011


This happens all the time on Lake St. Clair, and Lake Huron, ice fisherman, trucks, snowmobiles... stranded and rescued... we just pretty much shake our heads and say "idiots!".
posted by HuronBob at 3:06 PM on January 10, 2011


ok, we don't rescue the snowmobiles and the trucks...
posted by HuronBob at 3:08 PM on January 10, 2011


I like to think the helicopter crew was Ice Cube, Ice T, and Vanilla Ice.
posted by xedrik at 3:12 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can i add fear to cjorgensen's list:

* Drowned in manure


I can do that one better. Falling into a cave filled with bat guano and trillions of carnivorous bat guano beetles.

I'd rather be the featured guest object on an episode of "Will it Blend?"
posted by loquacious at 3:35 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


xedrick: can Michael Iceberg be the pilot?
posted by vansly at 3:43 PM on January 10, 2011


Xendrik: clearly Iceman should be the pilot.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2011


Every time you write "flow", but mean "floe", you flick me in the nose.
posted by everichon at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


That drowning in manure thing: growing up in Denmark, that actually wasn't that uncommon, and not going near manure tanks was my childhood equivalent to From Bklyn's story about ice in Canada. My sister-in-law's dad lost a sibling that way. Eek.
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:56 PM on January 10, 2011


My mum was about 6 or 7 years old when she was given a new bike. It had the kind of stand that raises the back wheel off the ground, rather than just leaning it at an angle. She took it to the garden and set it up on its stand so she could sit on it in front of the house and peddle to make the back wheel go round and round without actually riding anywhere.

She peddled faster and faster, bouncing up and down with joy as she did so... until she bounced that bike right off the stand and whoosh! Straight down the garden towards the septic tank pit. Unfortunately for her, the pit was uncovered because of some maintenance or other. Luckily for her the postman was just coming up the lane and rescued her after he saw her tumble in. The poor girl was made to stand and strip outside while my grandfather hosed her down with cold water.

I believe the postman was given a cup of tea and a biscuit for his trouble.
posted by jonesor at 4:37 PM on January 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's an old, apparently southern flippant response to someone asking where someone else is. "Went to shit and the hogs ate him." Meaning he took a shortcut to the outhouse and got eaten by the pigs because he went to shit and no one thought to look for him in time.

Well, it happened to a cousin, and I've seen whichever Hannibal Lecter movie that happened in, so I take the long way to shit.
posted by cmoj at 5:03 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


More polar bear.

That tourism video is spectacular. I am so doing that.
posted by doublehappy at 5:30 PM on January 10, 2011


In a situation like this, there's nothing you can do but just go with the floe.
posted by Flashman at 5:49 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a nice place to go ice skating... beats the pond in the nearby park by miles.
posted by coust at 6:29 PM on January 10, 2011


FLOE CHART
posted by chrismear at 10:23 PM on January 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is why I like to keep my ice floes in my cocktails, where I can keep an eye on the sneaky bastards. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU"RE GOING, MISTER! BACK TO THE WHISKEY WITH YE!
posted by KingEdRa at 10:58 PM on January 10, 2011


Whoa, thanks @chrismear!
posted by janek at 11:00 PM on January 10, 2011


Wow, yay cellphones and helicopters. Great pictures.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:20 PM on January 10, 2011


Yeah, thanks chrismear from me too! I'm always mixing up glaciers with icicles...

Once I tried to stab someone with a glacier so that it would just melt and not leave any evidence... Needless to say that didn't work out very well. How embarrassing! That won't happen again, thanks to that chart!
posted by mingo_clambake at 12:03 AM on January 11, 2011


Drowned in manure

I once fell into a massive vat of slurry, which is a mixture of cow dung and urine. The dairy farm I was visiting had this massive "lake" with concrete lined sides. They filled it all winter and then used it as fertilizer later in the year. I was there in spring and the top had crusted over and had grass and weeds growing all over it.

I walked about 20 feet onto it and then the top gave way and in I went. I grabbed a massive thistle that was well rooted nearby and managed to keep my shoulders above the crust until someone heard me calling. Apparently a lot of people die this way, and once you've gone under the surface you have no hope of being rescued as tons of shit need to drained to get you out. Nice.

I've since found out that the farmer was probably criminally negligent in not having appropriate signs and fencing in place... but I'm more of the mindset that if you wander around a farm (or skate on the sea) you know there is likely to be some seriously dangerous stuff knocking around and accept the risks.

So yeah... be afraid. Manure is less amusing than Hollywood suggests.
posted by samworm at 2:15 AM on January 11, 2011


...Manure is less amusing than Hollywood suggests.

Yeah, that crap'll kill ya.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:09 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why it's worth being good at Frogger.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:15 AM on January 11, 2011


Ice floe! Nowhere to go! Lost in the blinding whiteness of the tundraaaah... check him out.
posted by rdc at 4:14 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another reason to avoid ice skating:

"Although attacks on humans are rare, they have occurred before. In 1985, Scottish polar explorer Gareth Wood had a lucky escape while walking across a thin ice layer.

In his written account of the encounter, he recalled, "Suddenly, the surface erupted as the massive head and shoulders of a mature leopard seal, mouth gaping in expectation, crashed through the eggshell covering. It closed its powerful jaws around my right leg, and I fell backward, shocked and helpless." "

posted by sneebler at 6:16 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


From The Worst Journey in the World:

"I cannot describe either the scene or my feelings. I must leave those to your imagination. We were in the middle of a floating pack of broken-up ice. The tops of the hills were visible, but all below was thin mist and as far as the eye could see there was nothing solid; it was all broken up, and heaving up and down with the swell. Long black tongues of water were everywhere. The floe on which we were had split right under our picketing line, and cut poor Guts' wall in half. Guts himself had gone, and a dark streak of water alone showed the place where the ice had opened under him. The two sledges securing the other end of the line were on the next floe and had been pulled right to the edge. Our camp was on a floe not more than 30 yards across..."
posted by rory at 7:41 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


My grandmother used to recount the tale of a time that she and her older sisters set out across the frozen Chesapeake Bay to see a Dutch cargo ship that was frozen in the ice.

"Joe-B, we heard there was a ship all the way from Holland there, with sailors in wooden shoes!"

There's something inherently amazing about that age and that era, when you could be young enough and at the start of the opening up of the United States to the world, when you'd actually believe a rumor floating around the children and factory workers in a little village on the outskirts of the city that something rare and exotic was in town. She'd tell this story and her sugary city brogue would turn light and magical at the notion of Dutch sailors clacking around the decks of a ship in wooden shoes.

They set out up the frozen highway of Colgate Creek, little girls with the last and youngest one, my grandmother, in tow, and out into the impossible frozen expanse of the harbor. After they'd walked for what seemed like miles without finding the ship, they gave up and turned back, but an ice-cutter had come through and churned up the slab into a murky slush, leaving them cut off.

My great-grandfather, having been told of this adventure, went down the creek and into the harbor, but he only found the dark channel through the ice, and was crying inconsolably all the while he ran along the edge, calling for his daughters.

The girls, after a few terrifying hours, found a route back to shore and then home along unfamiliar roads, crossing a bridge and showing up home, fearing that they'd be in trouble, but their father just cried out of a kind of joy that my grandmother said told her more about being a parent than anything else she'd ever seen.

She was born in 1910, so this must have been in the mid to late teens, just about ninety years ago. So much changes, and so much stays the same.

When I was coming up, I was fascinated by the peculiar type of lighthouses they had throughout the bay area because of the mushy-bottomed bay. Screwpile lighthouses were just that, lighthouses that sat on spidery frameworks of iron posts that were actually screwed into the muck, and, after visiting one for the first time in my youth, I was convinced it was the kind of house I'd live in once I made my first million.

The downside, at least in the days when the bay would freeze over more regularly, was that they'd get snipped off at the base by moving ice floes, carried out into the bay, and dumped, which made them a perfect example of Maryland's love of futility. I was a little terror junkie, though, and couldn't help but lustily imagine the horror of finding your little lighthouse adrift in the dark in the days when that meant no one would be coming, at least not in time.

I did get to see the bay frozen, once. It was the late seventies and we were walking around Fort McHenry, and the bay was a solid sheet.

"See that, son? We could walk right across the bay," my father said, pointing out the continuous surface with a little gleam in his eye.

"But we won't be doing that, Cleve," my mother added. "Got that?"

Father and son both sighed.

We never have any fun.
posted by sonascope at 8:19 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


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