Armed Guards Protect Ship’s Crew from Polar Bears as they Play Soccer on the Arctic Ice

Steven Agar |
arctic, soccer, polar bears, armed guards
Navy crew and scientists playing soccer on the ice. Credit: Reuters

You don’t need much to play soccer, just a couple of goal-frames, a ball, and a grassy field, reports Business Insider.

Sometimes you don’t even need a field, as the photograph clearly shows.

In the photo, KV Svalbard’s crew, formed of Norwegian Navy privates and scientists from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, can be seen playing soccer on a big slab of ice in the Arctic, near Greenland.

The photo, taken on March 22, is all the more extraordinary as armed guards were deployed on the ice to protect the soccer-playing scientists from potential polar bear attacks.

arctic, soccer, polar bears, armed guards
The KV Svalbard. Credit: ACCESS-EU

Though polar bear attacks on humans are rare, the land carnivores are cited as one of the deadliest on the planet as they can mutilate humans with a swipe of a paw.

The KV Svalbard is an icebreaker and the largest vessel in tonnage in Norway’s navy, according to a Norwegian government website Forsvaret.

It normally operates around Svalbard, the northernmost territory of Norway, and its missions include search and rescue, oil conservation, diving assistance and tow.

I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for kicking the ball out of touch and having to retrieve it. Brrrrr!

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