A Swedish couple was long-distance skating on the frozen ocean when a boat broke their "rink" into pieces, stranding them on a floe. Luckily, they were rescued in 12 minutes—and got some stunning pictures out of the deal.

Sweden! Yes, you wind up paying like $12 for your low-alcohol beers, and you get about six minutes of daylight this time of year. But in the "plus" column, if you get stranded on an ice floe while long-distance ice skating, you're only a cell phone call away from a crack rescue team funded by your huge tax bill.

The couple in this story—based on my Google translation of the Aftonbladet article—seem to have had to wait about 12 minutes for a helicopter to show up after the woman called "S.O.S." on her cell phone. (They bided their time by leaping from floe to floe, apparently, which sounds terrifying and also so fun. Fox News Science Editor Jeremy Kaplan points out that they were actually commended for not jumping from floe to floe.) And the rescuers even took pictures! Check it out (click to enlarge):

Ice Floe Rescue Proves Socialism Works, Results in Amazing Pictures

Ice Floe Rescue Proves Socialism Works, Results in Amazing Pictures

In the U.S., if you even got cell phone service, the rescue would have taken six hours and you would have received a bill a month later. Luckily, in the States, we don't "long-distance ice skate," because that would require physical activity.

[Aftonbladet via Reddit; Fox News; pics via Swedish Maritime Administration - Lifeguard 901]