Starting today, police will be present at the south Iceland beach in the hopes of preventing yet another death.
RÚV reports that Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal and Minister of Industry Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir have, in conjunction with the police, established a permanent police watch over Reynisfjara beach. The hazard level of the beach will also be re-assessed.
The decision comes in the wake of a tragic drowning at the beach. Despite repeated warnings from English-language media, guides who take tourists to the location, and signs indicating the danger of wading into the waters, tourists still continue to tempt fate at the location.
Many in the tourism industry have been struggling to come up with better measures to prevent tragedy from happening. Vilborg Anna Björnsdóttir, the vice chairperson of the Iceland Tourist Guide Association, told RÚV that access to the beach could be more restricted.
“You can walk down to the beach anywhere,” she told reporters. “You are not even specifically pointed to a walkway. This is such an open area that you can just park your car and walk out anywhere. You could simply get to the beach without seeing any warning signs.”
The Grapevine would like to emphasise, again, that the undertow at Reynisfjara is deceptively strong. Do not wade into its waters. Wherever you travel in Iceland, abide the safety warnings of your tour guides and any hazard signs around the area, and overall, exercise common sense when approaching forces of nature.