On Monday, 24-year-old Catherine Streng received a thread of hilarious texts and photos from her dad about his trip to Iceland with her grandmother.
In short: Her grandmother nearly floated away into the abyss of Icelandic waters on her own iceberg throne.
Streng is an English teacher currently living in South Korea, but her family is based in Texas and they travel frequently, she told BuzzFeed News. She said her dad “actually hates the cold,” but he and his mother were interested in experiencing “the nature and beautiful scenery” of the Nordic region.
The two recently visited the Jökulsárlón Lagoon, a stunning glacial lagoon in the southeastern part of the country. Streng’s grandmother came upon a large piece of ice shaped like a chaise lounge along the shore of the lagoon.
She had the idea to lay on it so her son could take a photo of her. However, a brief flex for an Instagram took a dramatic turn, and Streng’s dad captured it all because he kept taking pictures.
A single wave of water suddenly lifted Streng’s grandmother’s ice throne and whisked it away while she was still on it.
“My father described [what happened] in the following way,” Streng began, reading off a very colorful text her dad sent her about the incident.
(Note: Her dad is an English teacher, “so he’s pretty good with imagery,” she added, laughing.)
She ascended the throne after a wave had pulled back and left it briefly exposed on the beach. Then a wave washed in and dislodged the ice throne, rocking it from side to side. When the wave retreated, it lifted the dislodged throne throne and carried her out with the tide.
Her grandmother had floated so far and so quickly out to sea that she had to be formally rescued. Thankfully, a man nearby who witnessed the whole thing was a licensed boat captain from Florida who had professional water rescue training.
“He just happened to be onshore when the whole thing occurred, so he waded out into the roiling water and pulled her off the iceberg as it drifted out to sea, supporting her until they reached the shore,” said Streng’s dad.
The captain’s name was Randy Lacount.
Streng noted that her grandmother said she watched several people sit and pose for photos on the iceberg with no problem, and had asked if it was OK she did as well.
“I guess she got to be the lucky one,” Streng joked, adding that when she received her dad’s texts about the incident she “laughed out loud at work.”
“That’s just so something that would happen to my family.”
When she shared about it online, her tweet went viral and her grandmother became an icon.
People said they felt bad for laughing, but were glad she was rescued and safe. Some only hoped they could one day be whisked away from this cold world and “peacefully drift out to sea on an iceberg.”
Streng’s father and Iceberg Queen are still on vacation in Iceland.