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Real life ‘Big Miracle’: World followed Barrow’s 1988 attempt to save stranded gray whales

Tip of the day. If you live in Alaska and are looking around for some reality just turn off the TV and go outside for a walk. HG

by Reba Lean /
Jan 29, 2012

FAIRBANKS - The media poured into Barrow, Alaska, in the fall of 1988, as people tried to save three whales trapped in sea ice with no way to get to the distant open water. As sympathy spread across the world, oil companies, Greenpeace, local residents, Soviet vessels and the U.S. government came together to help.

A new feature film, “Big Miracle,” based on the event, stars Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, among other big-name actors. The film opens in theaters Friday.

The movie focuses on Barrymore’s character, Greenpeace volunteer Rachel Kramer, and her effort to draw national attention to the whales and free them from the unbroken ice.

The movie suggests a romance between the fictional characters Kramer and reporter Adam Carlson, played by Krasinski, was one reason the story became a worldwide sensation. However, in reality, the whales created their own story.

Barrow resident Roy Ahmaogak was out......