Nfld. & Labrador

Brain freeze: Video shows people wandering, taking selfies on Middle Cove sea ice

Despite the inherent risk, several people were seen walking around on sea ice that had packed into Middle Cove on Sunday.

Corey Goobie recorded at least 8 people wandering nearly 300 feet from land on ice pans

Corey Goobie said people were yelling from the shore to come back, but those on the ice continued to wander around and take photos on their smartphones. (Submitted)

Despite the risk, several people were seen walking around on sea ice that had packed into Middle Cove, a popular beach near St. John's, Sunday afternoon.

Corey Goobie recorded the reckless behaviour from the nearby lookout point, capturing people wandering around on ice pans and venturing about 300 feet from the shoreline

Check it out in the video below:

Risks on ice pans

5 years ago
Duration 0:53
Pedestrians took risks when they jumped on ice pans off Middle Cove Beach on Sunday afternoon.

Goobie said about eight people – in their late teens or early 20s – were out on the ice, taking selfies with their phones as people on the shore yelled at them to come back.

"They were in sneakers and jeans, and one guy had a sweater on. No gloves on either one of them," he said. "I was just waiting for something to happen."

"It seems like they were having the time of their lives."

Town warns rescue would be '2 hours away'

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said it got four calls about people walking on the ice over the weekend, and said officers spoke to some of those who did so and warned them of the dangers.

It's not against the law, however, so no charges were laid.

Photo from Middle Cove beach April 02. A few sea ice explorers can be seen a hundred feet away from shore strolling along on calm Sunday. (Submitted by Alick Tsui)

"If someone gets stuck, coast guard will not be able to retrieve them," according to a Facebook post from The Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove.

Instead, people will have to be rescued by helicopter "which is two hours away."

Goobie said he also called the coast guard and was told that a helicopter was on standby in case something happened.

"The coast guard said it could be a matter of minutes before that ice shifts," he said. "I was just waiting for something to happen."

On Sunday, the sister of a drowning victim pleaded for people to use common sense and stay off the ice.


Geoff Bartlett


Geoff Bartlett is an educator and journalist in Corner Brook.