The Icelandic Coast Guard saved twelve people from a German sailboat that was sinking, 12 nautical miles west off the southwestern peninsula.
Nearby ships as well as the Coast Guard’s and a helicopter rushed to the location after the crew had sent out a Mayday shortly before midnight on Thursday.
The nearest trawler had found the sailboat half an hour later and soon after the Coast Guard helicopter arrived but due to bad weather and big waves, rescuers couldn’t get on board till two hours later.
They brought a sea water pump to prevent the boat from sinking while the passengers and the crew were being transported to a rescue boat, which took quite a while.
The rescue boat attempted to tow the sailboat to harbour but after the water pump malfunctioned the sailboat had to be cut off and sank immediately.
Five adults and 7 children and teenagers were rescued from the sailboat and are now in the care of the Red Cross in Reykjavík. Rescuers told ruv.is that some of the people had not been appropriately equipped for the circumstances and so had been very cold and exhausted after the experience.