Rescue teams were called out on Sunday evening to help the people found in a car on Kollafjörðurheiði, reports RÚV. It is stated that the people had been stuck in the car due to bad weather for over 50 hours.
The people, who are Icelandic, were on their way from Reykjavík to the northern part of Westfjords, but did not get to their destination. Nothing had been heard from them since Friday afternoon. Rescue teams from Patreksfjörður, Tálknafjörður, Bíldudal, Þingeyri and Hólmavík were called out, along with the Coast Guard’s helicopter.
The people were heading west when they were last heard from. Cellular data helped to locate them.
The people were finally found just before nine o’clock on Sunday in their car on Kollafjarðarheiði, safe and sound. They were taken to Hólmavík, where they underwent a medical examination. Sigurður Árni Vilhjálmsson, chairman of the rescue team in Hólmavík, says that the road on which the people were found is a jeep track, which is not maintained in winter. Mobile phone service in the area is generally down, but in an announcement from the police in the West Fjords, it is said that the weather at the scene was very bad over the weekend and there was no mobile service there.
Sigurður Árni says the people stopped at Kollafjörðurheiði on Friday, and had therefore been stuck in the car for over 50 hours. “The car ran out of gas,” says Sigurður.
He says the people were reasonably well off in terms of clothing, but they didn’t have much food. The window was broken in the car, so it was very cold in there.
When asked what the people were doing on the trail, Sigurður says that Google Maps directed them that way. The program always chooses the shortest route, but does not take into account the speed or the condition of the roads. In addition, there is no sign that indicates closures or that the road is bad.
Sigurður says the people have done everything right in the situation. “They didn’t walk away.” That is considered the main reason why it didn’t get worse.
The weather in the area was very bad over the weekend, both on Saturday and Sunday night.
When asked how the people reacted when they were finally rescued, Sigurður says they were very happy as it was quite cold. “I guess it wasn’t the best feeling in their lives, until now.”
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