Caught on camera: British woman plunges into icy canal while texting

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” Shakespeare famously wrote. Some 400 years later and not 30 miles from the Bard’s birthplace, those words rang true for one British woman when she landed up in a freezing cold canal while texting her boyfriend.

The superbly named Laura Safe was so engrossed in composing her message that she only noticed the large expanse of water in her vicinity once she was in it. The incident happened last week in Birmingham, central England.

In security camera footage released Thursday (you can watch it below), Safe can be seen coming down some steps, with the canal directly in front of her. Sadly for Safe, however, between her and the canal is her smartphone screen, upon which she’s tapping out a message to the special man in her life.

“I wasn’t looking where I was going,” Safe, a radio newsreader, told the BBC. She said that in the corner of her eye she thought the ice on the canal was concrete paving and stepped right onto it without thinking.

She says she remembers a guy shouting “stop!” but by that point it was too late. That man, Neil Edgington, “came running over Baywatch style,” Safe said – though with temperatures below freezing presumably he was dressed in more than just a pair red shorts – and pulled her to safety.

The embarrassing incident highlights the perils of texting while walking, with Ms. Safe following in the potentially dangerous footsteps of many others. Last March, for example, a woman in Michigan ended up in a river after walking off the end of a pier while texting, and in August a man drove off a bridge apparently shortly after sending a message which said, “I need to quit texting.”

According to data published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission last July, more than 1,150 people in the US needed hospital treatment in 2011 following an accident involving so-called “distracted walking.”

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