An Australian couple are asking for 4 million ISK in damages from Mountaineers of Iceland, in direct response to being disconnect from their snowmobile group in Langjökull and subsequently trapped in a storm for seven hours, RÚV reports. The company denies any wrongdoing in the incident.
The incident took place two years ago, when David and Gail Wilson were taking a snowmobile tour of Langjökull. There were 11 other snowmobiles on the tour, with David and Gail at the back of the group. The weather soon worsened, and their snowmobile stopped, disconnecting them from the rest of the group. 180 rescue workers and Mountaineers of Iceland employees were dispatched to find them, which in the end took seven hours.
The couple are now seeking damages from the company. They said the experience was terrifying, describing how they buried themselves in a snowbank to keep warm overnight, with temperatures dropping so low that David’s contact lens froze to his eyeballs. Both suffered frostbite of their fingers and toes.
Mountaineers of Iceland deny any wrongdoing in the matter. They contend the tour was halfway over when the storm began, and that the employees followed every proper safety procedure in their response. They assert that the couple endangered themselves by moving the snowmobile away from the location, making the search for them that much more difficult. Further, the company says the couple declined to accept medical attention after they were found.
Opening arguments for the case will begin next week.