Judith Streng is a grandmother from Texas who was on vacation in Iceland, trying to live out her Elsa fantasy, when she drifted out to sea and the Coast Guard needed to rescue her. Now she’s a Twitter-famous floating granny.
Her son, finding the whole situation hilarious (we promise it wasn’t as scary as it sounds), stood on shore snapping pictures and then texted them to his daughter, Catherine, to share the laugh. His daughter shared the texts with Twitter, and people are loving them.
We should start by mentioning that the Streng family are serious travel-bugs. So nobody was surprised when Grandma Judith decided she wanted to experience “the nature and beautiful scenery” of Iceland and other Nordic countries. Catherine lives and works in South Korea, so she couldn’t go along. But son Rob was down for the adventure, so off they went.
Fast forward to a walk around Jökulsárlón Lagoon. There on the beach, groups of people had spotted a small iceberg washed up on shore. The waves had carved it out into an almost-perfect throne. Judith watched other people sit on it for pictures, so she decided to give it a go.
She told a news outlet:
“I’ve always wanted to be queen … that was my chance.”
Judith sat. Rob snapped a picture and texted Catherine. So far, so good. The picture is honestly kind of cool.
This is when things start to go sideways. According to Judith, she could feel her icy throne start to jostle a little bit. She knew she was in trouble. Rob, who has a flair for dramatic storytelling, explained the situation to Catherine:
“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.”
Judith felt herself slipping, but knew she would be in some serious trouble if she fell into the icy water. We don’t know if Judith has any actual bull-riding experience or if it’s just a genetic Texan thing or what — but she hung on tight while that iceberg bucked and rocked. While Judith was busy ascending/retreating, Rob was busy snapping more pictures.
Luckily, one of the other people who had been standing around the iceberg happened to be a trained sea rescuer from Florida. Without hesitating, he walked out into the water and brought her back.
Rob, as you probably guessed, kept snapping pics.
Nobody was hurt, and they kept right on going with their vacation. Judith was unfazed by the whole ordeal. Rob got to play paparazzi. Catherine got a good laugh. Everyone was happy!
Especially Twitter. Here’s her post about it.
My grandmother almost got lost at sea in Iceland today lmaoooo pic.twitter.com/osHrwTEkyr
— babygirl, u dont know (@Xiushook) February 25, 2019
Twitter went in hard with the love.
Frozen 3 looks great
— Joe Halabi (@freeformjazz25) February 27, 2019
Omg I m glad she didn’t fall in the cold water ( on a side note your dad is hilarious and his comments were pure epic poem. The Song of Roland WHO)
— House of Stark (@NadiaJPLE) February 27, 2019
When people get too old, us Canadians send them out on icebergs.
— Tyler (@t_y_I_e_r) March 3, 2019
That’s Rose from the Titanic ain’t it
— AMR (@yellowbonemama) February 28, 2019
Is nobody gonna acknowledge him calling her the iceberg queen
— mani (@foreveramanii) March 1, 2019
As funny as this situation turned out, it could have been a LOT worse — and Icelanders really want everyone to remember that. There are signs posted all over asking people not to get on the icebergs for this reason. People have died.
All the love. As an Icelander it scares me to see this. We have had an uprise in traveler accidents and death. Tell your grandma to keep safe and if a guide told her that was safe tell her to kick him. The undercurrents there are scary.
— Bára Halldórsdóttir (@bee_how) March 1, 2019
Hahaha the berg. Yeah tho those waves will sneak up on you
— ???? (40)8s & Heartbreak ???? (@kvn_bch) February 28, 2019
I hope the coast guard charged you for their services. Just like when the Rangers charge a hiker that makes horrible choices and has to be rescued.
— Andrew Bonaccolto (@ADrewski16) March 2, 2019
This is no joke. She´s lucky to be alive. Iceland is as dangerous as it is beautiful. Stay save. Greatings from Iceland.
— Kristín Ásta Ólafsd (@Kristinastao) March 3, 2019
Typical tourists doing what is NOT allowed at Jökulsárlón!!!
— S. Hilmar Gudjonsson (@s_hilmar) March 1, 2019
And finally, we just wanted to give a shout-out to this flawlessly executed moment in Twitterhood:
Why do people still do this there are warning signs that tell people not to do that for a resson
— Tómas (@tomasGeir) February 26, 2019
They were with a tour guide so I guess they said it was cool
— babygirl, u dont know (@Xiushook) February 26, 2019
I mean of course it's cool it's literally ice
— marsh (@nekonigirii) February 27, 2019
— @hxrtcrvsh (@selamatharienam) February 27, 2019
Have you ever done anything that seemed like a great idea but went sideways pretty quickly? Tell us about it.