Set on the coast of Newfoundland, a rivalry develops between Jed Nelson, a seal hunter, and Luke Oarum, a local man considered a jinx. Worried that his rival may try to steal his girlfriend Mary Joe, calling him a coward, the seal hunter goads Luke into accompanying him on an Arctic sealing expedition on Viking, commanded by Capt. Barker. They both end up in a hunting party on the ice floes and eventually find themselves stranded. Jed tries to kill Luke, but the snow blinds him and his gunshot misses.
Despite the attempt on his life, Luke helps walk the blinded Jed across the ice flows back to Newfoundland after they are unable to return to the ship. On recovering his sight at home, Jed gains new respect for his rival and vows that he will beat senseless any man who derides the character of his new friend.
On March 15, 1931, while trying to film an iceberg, filmmaker Varick Frissell, Alexander Penrod, 25 crew members and a stowaway were killed in an explosion. Some of the survivors made the over-ice trek to the Horse Islands, while others were rescued by vessels dispatched to the area. Despite the fatal accident, the film was completed and released in June 1931.