From Iceland — Lost American Tourist At Geldingadalur Found By Rescue Squad

Lost American Tourist At Geldingadalur Found By Rescue Squad

Published June 28, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
Photo by
John Pearson

Over the weekend, American tourist Scott Estill was separated from his wife near the eruption site at Fagradalsfjall. Police and rescue teams conducted a search for more than 24 hours in the area. Scott was finally found at eight o’clock Saturday night, four kilometers west of Núpshlíðarháls from where Scott and his wife had initially become separated, RÚV reports.

Beginning the search

Gunnar Schram, chief of police in Suðurnes, explains they began searching near the eruption site at Fagradalsfjall when “There was movement in the moss,” giving direction for the rescue team. Becky Estill, Scott’s wife, praised the rescue teams for their expediency and professionalism. “You are the warmest and most compassionate people I have ever met—so professional,” she says.

Becky explains that waiting for her husband to be found by the rescue teams was awful, knowing that he wasn’t adequately prepared for the weather conditions. She explains that despite them being from Colorado and familiar with mountaineering, they became careless towards the end of their hike and made mistakes. “You should never leave your travel companion, always have water and your smartphone,” she notes.

American hiker found alive

After searching for more than 24 hours, Scott was found at eight o’clock Saturday night four kilometers west of Núpshlíðarháls. Rúnar Gíslason, a police investigator in Suðurnes, took a report Sunday morning from Scott. Rúnar explains that Scott had given up all hope of being found. The helicopter finally found Scott and reported to Becky that he was found alive. “I was both shocked and did not believe it,” she says. He was found with a head injury, his kidneys were starting to give away from dehydration, and had a cold. Nonetheless, he was in good spirits and relieved to see the rescue squad.

Feelings of gratitude

Rúnar said that Scott was amazed at how much was done in the attempt to find him. Scott was also glad to hear that the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson even commented on the matter. He wrote on Facebook that he hoped that the search for Scott Estill would be successful. The couple was incredibly thankful for the efforts of the police and rescue teams, saying “God bless you for giving your time to do this… You are wonderful.”

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