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Art Burke's Most Distressing Experience On Ice Road Truckers

Many comparisons have been made between History's "Ice Road Truckers" and Discovery's "Deadliest Catch." Both reality series look at the dangerous underbellies of two of North America's most perilous, overlooked industries: commercial trucking in isolated Arctic territories and crab fishing in the Bering Sea. Though there are plenty of distinctions to be made between these respective landlubbers and seafarers, they're linked by their tenacity and ability to tolerate hand-numbingly cold temperatures.

Art Burke would fit in well with the mariners of "Deadliest Catch," and not just because he hails from the coastal province of Newfoundland (via History). The man talks like a sailor, and during his time on "Ice Road Truckers" beginning in Season 7 — the same season that saw the return of Lisa Kelly – the series was filled with the colorful chirps and beeps of History's overwhelmed censoring department. As "Ice Road Truckers" fans well know, sometimes such salty language is justified when navigating treacherous ice slicks. Here's Burke's most perilous experience on "Ice Road Truckers."

Art Burke's truck went through the ice

"Ice Road Truckers" has seen its fair share of near-scrapes and icy conditions in its pursuit to capture the delivery of goods to North America's remotest corners. In Season 9, Art Burke had his closest call to date when his rig's front wheels plunged into a watery ice road. Understandably, Burke unleashed a flurry of f-bombs that suited the circumstances, but he was also cool under pressure. "It comes with the territory, man," Burke said in the episode. "That can happen." He was also careful to get the cameraman out of harm's way. "I remember thinking to myself, 'I've gotta get him out of the truck.'"

Burke admits that the treacherous job isn't for the faint of heart–or the sound of mind. "Anybody that wants to get involved with this," he quipped, "I highly recommend you call your psychiatrist or your therapist right off the bat." Still, Burke also noted that he loves the rush of a near-miss catastrophe, even when he's driving over cracking ice.

Burke may have gotten lucky in the end, but not all trucks are so successful. In 2016, a truck sank into the Deline ice road on Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. Kevin McLeod of the Infrastructure Department spoke to the capricious nature of ice (via CBC), "It's not like concrete or wood, where everybody understands and fully has tested the properties and knows the strengths and weaknesses of it," he said. "Ice is natural, made by Mother Nature, and doesn't repeat itself the same way every time."