The 41-year-old Sandro P. was pulled out of his canoe near the town of Wedel, just west of Hamburg, by a rescue team after his canoe trip ended in an icy cul-de-sac as water temperatures reached zero degrees Celsius, the Bild newspaper reported late Sunday.
“I don't see what the fuss is about,” he said afterwards. “In an emergency I could have swum ashore in my wetsuit.”
Shipping was completely suspended between Hamburg and Magdeburg as temperatures reaching into minus double-digits around the Elbe, one of Germany's major rivers, over the weekend.
Police boats were also unable to use the rivers as large ice blocks formed on the river overnight, forcing police to patrol the waters by car along on the banks.
The Elbe-Havel canal, which links the Elbe with the River Havel further east, has also been blocked with a 12-centimetre layer of ice on its surface.