Tourist Wades Into Reynisfjara For Better Pictures - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tourist Wades Into Reynisfjara For Better Pictures

Published February 20, 2015

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Ulrich Pittroff

German tour guide, Ulrich Pittroff, has called out one tourist’s irresponsible behaviour after he walked into Reynisfjara shore to get a better shot of the famous beach, reports Vísir.

Given the conditions of the water at Reynisfjara and the people who have been pulled under there before it was lucky the man came to no harm.

“This is an especially dangerous beach and people wading into the water is far too common an occurrence,” said Bjarnheiður Hallsdóttir, CEO of Katla DMI tour company and Ulrich’s boss. “The undercurrent is among the strongest in the world. He was most likely out there on his own, no tour guide would have let him do that. The conditions are so dangerous, but people don’t heed the warnings.”

Reynisfjara shore, near Vík is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Iceland’s South Coast with an estimated 100.000 visitors per year.

The vast majority of tourists are respectful of the powerful and often dangerous Icelandic nature but Bjarnheiður worries that “it is only a matter of time” before a tragic accident happens at this particular stretch of beach.

In 2007 an American woman was pulled under and drowned at Reynisfjara and a year later a German couple who wandered too far out almost suffered the same fate.

In 2008 a group of tourists attempted to reach and save a beached whale at Reynisfjara, they were waist deep in water before realising they needed help and were thankfully saved by local farmer Ólafur Björnsson.

In January 2013 a tour guide saved a woman pulled down by the undercurrent, in the summer of 2013 one tourist was pulled out to sea at Reynisfjara though survived 30 minutes in the water and managed to get to shore at Reynisfjall.

Travel safely guys!

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