Reindeer herder’s lasso toss saves ice fishing Swede

David Landes
David Landes - [email protected]

When the ice started crumbling beneath him, Mikael Vikström thought his ice fishing days were over until a quick-thinking reindeer herder happened to pass by.


“I saw a head stick up and thought it was someone who was lying on the ice and looking into an ice fishing hole. But something seemed strange so I looked again,” said Lars-Anders Gillenbjörk to the Norrbottens-Kuriren newspaper.

“Then I saw that there were no legs, just a head and arms were sticking up.”

Gillenbjörk, who was on his way to check on his family’s reindeer herd near Jokkmokk in the far north of Sweden, quickly pulled over.

He called out to Vikström, who responded that he needed help, at which point the reindeer herder grabbed a rope from his truck and hustled back down to the ice’s edge.

With an expert toss of his lasso, Gillenbjörk managed to get the rope close enough to Vikström so the struggling man could grab hold.

Working together, the two men were eventually able to pull the soggy and nearly frozen ice fisherman back to dry land.

“I wouldn’t have lasted much longer and started to think that I was going to drown,” said Vikström to the paper.

“If Lars-Anders hadn’t come, I’d be lying on the bottom. He ran fast.”

Vikström is grateful that Gillenbjörk gave him the chance to see another day, but has nevertheless decided to take a break from ice fishing for awhile.

The reindeer herder is also thankful he decided to stop to help Vikström

“It would have been terrible if I hadn’t looked a second time and simply driven past, and then learned later that he’d drowned,” said Gillenbjörk.


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