A 15-year-old American child who was travelling around Iceland with his family was seriously injured last Thursday after falling off a 15 meter high cliff by the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
According to Oddur Árnason, the chief superintendent of the Selfoss Police Department, the child had been climbing outside the allowed path with its mother on southern side of the waterfall.
“She said she left him there and when she got back down she saw him lying at the end of the slope, but she had no idea what had happened,” Oddur told Vísir.
Difficult rescue mission
A team from the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue promptly arrived at the scene, but because the child had fallen down the right side of the waterfall, which is not accessible by car, the rescue team had to repel down to reach him. His injuries were treated on-site, before being taken by helicopter to a hospital in Reykjavík.
The details of the accident are still unclear, but it is know that the child suffered at least a broken foot.
Despite being a popular destination for tourists, conditions at Seljalandsfoss can be precarious. The proximity of the paths to the waterfall means the soil is wet and can shift, making them slippery and risky. Therefore, straying outside of the marked paths should be avoided.
The waterfall has become one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations and currently infrastructure around it is lacking in regards to safety. A concern for safety and a pinch of common sense is your best travelling companions when visiting the Icelandic countryside.