Published May 20, 2013
A rescue team was deployed yesterday to save four tourists who became stranded on an ice floe in Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon after it broke loose from the shore, RÚV reports.
The four American tourists had apparently made themselves comfortable—having set up a table and four chairs to picnic on the ice—when a gust of wind suddenly caused the ice floe to break loose and drift into the water.
Staff members from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon located just west of Fjallsárlón were sent with a boat to bring the tourists back to land. By the time the first rescue boat arrived, the ice floe had drifted 10 metres from the shore. While one of the tourists had managed to jump to safety before the ice drifted too far from shore, the others stayed put and remained calm.
Páll Sigurður Vignisson, a member of the search and rescue unit in Hornafjörður, was among the rescuers sent from Jökulsárlón. He expressed surprise at the tourists’ calmness and warned that it was not keeping with the danger they had unsuspectingly put themselves in, adding that ice floes are unpredictable and can capsize at any moment.