Pier Plunging Craze Hits Faroe Islands

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UPDATE: Turns out that this is probably a marketing gimmick by Danish energy drink maker Cult, that ended up here somewhat twisted and without a sender. See for instance mx.dk

At the beginning of this Easter holiday, a social fad started spreading here in the Faroes, that had next to everyone and his brother jump into the harbours. A cross between NekNomination and Tombstoning, as you can see in this compilation video off our national TV (see kvf.fo).

(the jumping starts at 0:32)

Residing on Facebook, it has everything that there is to ‘like’ about that thing. Chain mail format, pyramid scheme growth, peer pressure, questionable judgement, and the risk of online shaming for those who don’t play along.

The deal is that you get a ‘nomination’ on Facebook, to make a pier jump most often within 24 hours. If agreed, you are supposed to post a video on Facebook within that time limit, of you plunging into the sea, nominating two others. If you don’t do that, you are to usually buy a trip to the cinema to whoever nominated you.

Some jump twice, to be able to nominate more. Some decide to one-up the challenge by jumping from greater height, off ships or off cliffs. To be thrown off cars, or to bicycle off the pier. Some want a crate of beer or something else, instead of the cinema trip.

Almost everyone plays along, despite of our 6°C (42°F) waters. The teenagers of course, and the young adults. The older adults too. The priests and the politicians. Members of Parliament. Parents with their kids. Police and lifeguards. Teachers, seamen, singers and swim coaches.

So yeah, I could write on and on about this thing, but I guess I shouldn’t.

They love it.

I said no.

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

10 Comments

  1. Sudden immersion in water under 12C. especially once it gets down below 6C carries a substantial risk of drowning due to involuntary aspiration of water because of the cold shock response. I’m a very cold water swimmer (Ice Mile ~ 3.3C ) and can tell you that more that unprepared people do this, the greater the likelihood of a death occurring.

    Like most social nomination games, this is a stupid idea that will probably only stop when something bad happens.

    • Thanks for the input, LoneSwimmer, I have the deepest respect for your work!

      By now I’m just sad and ashamed, that so many of my people push this thing forward.

      Hoping that it will somehow end, before that accident.

  2. But I beliveve that people are not that stupid, because no one goes alone and they are not in for long. I like jumping, but mostly in summertime..

    • Generally people are not stupid, no. But to put it frankly, I think we have seen it all by now. Some crowds look organised, but others seem to be just 2 persons, and in some case even just one (as in fixed camera, with jumper turning it on himself). I don’t know of any real organised jump yet, with equipped paramedics or samaritans around.

  3. It doesn’t have to be dangerous! Some people simply choose to go to the beach and run into the water rather than jump from the harbour or bathing bridge. Most people bring a change of clothes, towels and a few friends and usually jump fully clothed. I did it today and it was great.

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