Just past 23:00 yesterday, the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel Þór was notified that a sightseeing boat was sailing with an expired license and with the number of tourists 4 times over capacity.
“We view this matter very seriously. The ship had dozens more passengers than allowed, is unregistered and it has its AIS tracking system off, which means that had anything happened we wouldn’t have been able to locate it,” said Sveinn H. Guðmarsson Communications Officer for the Icelandic Coast Guard. “On occasion we encounter unregistered ships, but I don’t think we have seen cases before where so many factors have been wrong.”
4 times over capacity
The expired license allowed the boat to carry 12 passengers, but at the time 45 tourists were packed into the small boat along with the four men crew–only one of the crewmen had a proper license.
The coast guard vessel escorted the boat to shore where it was met by the police and the captain has been charged.
“There is no need to go into details about how serious the consequences could have been had anything gone awry. Had the boat gotten into an accident, rescue would have arrived very late as the boat didn’t have its location system on and had failed to announce that it was leaving port,” the Icelandic Coast Guard wrote in a press release.”
More, more, more
It’s common knowledge that everybody is trying to milk as much out of the tourists as possible. But Jesus Christ, charging 650 ISK for coffee or selling boring walking tours to Bæjarins Beztu is one thing, risking the lives of dozens of people is another ball game all together.
Let’s not make this a habit.