In small town Alaska, Adam Carlson a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend Rachel, a Greenpeace volunteer, on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. Adam names the whales Fred, Wilma, and the infant Bamm-Bamm.
Drawn into the collaborative rescue work are several normally hostile factions: Inupiat whale hunters, a Greenpeace environmental activist, an oil executive, ambitious news reporters, the National Guard, the American president and politicians on the state, national and international levels. Also joining in the effort are two entrepreneurs from Minnesota, who provide de-icing machines to help keep the hole open. Finally an enormous Soviet ice-breaker ship arrives to remove the last barrier before the whales die. The ship's first attempt doesn't work and leaves only a dent. The ice is finally broken and the adult whales Fred and Wilma escape the ice. Sadly, the infant whale Bamm-Bamm dies from injuries and does not surface again.
Factual Mistake Throughout the film, nobody's breath appears when they are outdoors, especially given the frigid temperatures that they were reporting.
Continuity When the Green Peace activist dives under the ice in a wetsuit, she has red thermal gloves on. While submerged and using her knife to cut away the net on the baby whale's fluke, her bare hands are visible. When she surfaces, the red gloves are back on again.
Jackie Purcell, a real-life chief meteorologist for KTUU-NBC Channel 2 in Anchorage, Alaska - the station for which Adam Carlson, John Krasinski's character, works in the film.
Rachel Kramer character is based on Greenpeace wildlife campaigner, Cindy Lowry, who appears in the closing credits in archival footage.
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