Greenland 'iceberg tsunami' filmed aboard boat

Three boaters keen to get an intimate look at a glacier in Greenland get a much closer encounter than they expected, when an enormous ice sheet comes thundering down, creating an "iceberg tsunami."

'I've never been this close to dying before,' tour guide says in video

Three boaters keen to get an intimate look at a glacier in Greenland got a much closer encounter than they expected last week, when an enormous ice sheet came thundering down, creating an "iceberg tsunami" that pounded their ship with murky water.

Jens Møller was operating a private glacier tour near the central-western town of Sisimiut with his uncle when the wall of ice began to crumble.

Møller, who happened to be filming when the incident happened, kept on rolling even as the wave of water and ice began hurtling towards their retreating boat.

"This is the wildest thing I've ever tried in my life," he can be heard saying in the footage, moments after the close call. "I've never been this close to dying. I've never been this close to dying before."

Møller posted the video — Iceberg tsunami gone wild! —  to YouTube, where it has already logged nearly 1.4 million views since July 19. 

Speaking to CBC Radio's As It Happens, he said the only other passenger sailing with them, an Australian tourist, remained composed throughout the ordeal.

'I just thought it was amazing'

"The Australian woman, Sarah, said she didn't even panic. I was really amazed. A lot of people maybe would start crying or losing their minds," he said.

Møller said his only clue that "something big" was about to occur was when he noticed a few birds flying away from the glacier he was filming. Moments later, he heard the ice cracking and saw the crashing wall of ice create waves nearly two metres high.

"When that happened, I just thought it was amazing," he said, adding that the glacier was up to 40 metres tall. "I wasn't really thinking about how dangerous it could be. I just wanted to film, I just wanted to see how it looks like."

While the trio felt lucky to escape unharmed, Møller said it wasn't his uncle's first showdown with big chunks of falling ice.

"He was sailing with some friends, fishing for Arctic char, when a huge — I think it was from an iceberg, not a glacier — a huge chunk fell off and created an even bigger wave," he said.

"When you're a fisherman and you live in these kinds of areas, it's pretty lucky that you can experience something like that."