Iceberg
Photo by Claude Huot/Shutterstock.com

Watch a gutsy Newfoundland swimmer brave frigid waters to reach iceberg

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Do you retreat back to the cottage after dipping your toe into a chilly lake? Are your beach days spent safely on the sand? Is it hard for you to submerge yourself in ocean waters even in the hottest days of summer? Then a video of a Newfoundland swimmer is about to put you to shame.

The man, whose identity is unknown, was spotted by Newfoundlanders Gerry George and his wife when they were driving out to Twillingate for Canada Day weekend. Initially, the couple stopped to get a photo of the fantastic iceberg they saw out on the water, but when they got out to take the picture, they came across a man stripping off his clothes and getting ready to go for a swim.

“It was seven degrees, it was windy, I had my down jacket on, and he said, ‘I’m going to swim out to the iceberg, I’ve always wanted to touch an iceberg,'” George told the CBC. He says he warned the swimmer of the hypothermia risk, but the swimmer claimed to have experience swimming in even colder water. Then he dove in and quickly paddled his way to the huge chunk of ice.

“I was thinking whether I was going to be dialling 911,” George said.

George’s wife shot the the video, which shows the man making his way to the iceberg and then, with a little effort, hoisting himself up to sit on the slippery surface. He can then be seen making a “camera” motion, urging George and his wife to take a photo. “No big deal, it didn’t faze him in the least,” said George, who is trying to find the man to share the video with him.

Canada Red Cross, however, says that risks like this are best avoided. “Icebergs are very unstable,” said Michael Beck, a Red Cross instructor. “They could flip, they could completely roll over and as a result of that rolling, you’re going to get a lot of water being pushed away and you’re going to get a lot of spray. You could also get chunks of ice that fly off and essentially that could knock you unconscious.”

So while things may have turned out well this time, don’t feel bad if next time you spot an iceberg bobbing on the water, you decide to stay dry and firmly onshore.