Police Seek Private Help Rescuing Tourists - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Police Seek Private Help Rescuing Tourists

Published February 3, 2016

Photos by
Matthew Eisman

West Iceland police are now seeking help from others in order to lighten the load on the Rescue Squad who have been called out to save tourists.

RÚV reports that West Iceland police have found themselves having to respond to an increasing number of calls regarding tourists who ended up lost or stranded in bad weather. These calls, which are often referred to the Rescue Squad, have become so numerous that police are now seeking help from private authorities to lighten the workload on the squad.

Theodór Þórðarson, the chief of the West Iceland Police, told reporters that these calls are the result of a number of factors. Many of these stranded and stuck tourists were seeking shortcuts between locations, he said, and they might be driving rental cars that are unfit for all terrains and weather conditions. Further, GPS maps might not be conveying the full amount of information about the path they choose to travel.

These calls have become so numerous, he said, that police have started seeking help from private individuals to aid these tourists. These individuals are paid directly for their trouble by the tourists themselves.

Theodór cautions that some places people travel have poor mobile connection, which can make rescue even more difficult. The Grapevine would add that, when traveling by car, it is crucial to know the weather and road conditions beforehand, to realistically assess whether or not your vehicle can handle the journey, and to always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be there.

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