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The True Story of the Travelling Ice Coolers

In October 2002 we had two container loads of branded ice coolers on route to Ethiopia when the ship they were on, the Jolly Rubino, ran aground, caught fire and sank off the Mozambican coast. We thought that all was lost but over the next few weeks hundreds of ice boxes escaped their dark underwater captivity and began popping up on the ocean’s surface.

Jolly Rubino

From Mozambique they began floating down the South African coast and many landed up on the beaches of Cape St Francis 1500 km to the south. People were amazed that they had survived their 4 week journey at sea in PERFECT condition! St Francis charter fisherman Tim Christy captured a number of these boxes and still uses them on a daily basis 13 years later.

This would be amazing enough, but one box we later found out had not finished its journey….. It floated southwards beyond Cape Agulhas and down towards the Antarctic Circle. From there it caught the Western Australian current and floated for many months through treacherous storms and wild seas towards Australia.

On 1 December 2003, A YEAR AND TWO MONTHS after the sinking of the Jolly Rubino, a fisherman by the name of John Iwankiw was driving his 4x4 along a remote beach of the Great Australian Bight hundreds of miles from the nearest town. Upon seeing the bright red ice box tangled up in some ropes, John picked it up and took it back to his friends at their camp. The box looked in good condition with the bottle opener still attached, merely missing its lid! The men noticed an asset tag on the box which to their surprise showed that the manufacturer was all the way across the ocean in South Africa. They decided that the manufactures of the icebox should be contacted and a new lid should be ordered.

Tom Christy with ice box 2013

John sent us an email and for Christmas that very same year, a complimentary brand new lid was couriered out to Australia as a present to him from Resource Marketing. The cooler was soon back in business doing what it does best – keeping drinks ice cold! It had arrived in its new home: Australia, an estimated 18,000 Km at sea and almost half way around the world from where it began its travel in September 2002, duty free!

This story inspired us to make an Ice Cooler for our customers who want something ‘unbreakable’. After all, if the Indian Ocean can’t beat a Rogue, nothing can!

Rogue Ice Coolers - Washed Up