Week Photo Challenge “Three”: TURBULENT ICE


The bitter ice formations on Lake Michigan are numbingly beautiful with an otherworldly ‘Mountains on the Moon’ vibe. They are hard to resist. Many can not help but explore these unstable, violently shifting, slippery masses.
Walking out Grand Haven’s South Pier Head I spotted a young couple making their way across the Grand River Channel from the North Pier. I swung the camera up and began shooting.  Two seconds later the man fell through the ice.

He is half in the Grand River in the above photo. I believe the fact they were holding hands may have saved his life. No one else saw their brief struggle.

The Coast Guard instructs us to ‘keep the victim in sight or you’ll loose them in the ice’. There were over a hundred people scattered around the ice field and I tried to get people nearest me to see what had happened and help. That day, two Saturdays ago, had a very bizarre carnival atmosphere, the air was relatively warm, the sun was out, and great masses of people came to climb on the ice.  Entire families were out having a great time climbing over the rare ice mountains. They did not want to think of or see danger. It felt akin to being at a college party where someone had gotten hurt but no one wanted to stop partying to help. These young people are crazy lucky.


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