Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Couple of French travellers in their 20s rescued by ICE-SAR in Hornstrandir nature preserve

By Staff

  • To the rescue 20 ICE-SAR members from Westfjords fishing towns rescued a couple of young French hikers in the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve. Photo/ICE-SAR

Two French hikers, both men in their 20s, were rescued by members of Icelandic Search and Rescue after they sent out a emergency distress call while hiking in the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve. One of the men had fallen into the sea, losing his backpack.

Emergency beacon activated
At shortly after seven yesterday evening ICE-SAR in the Westfjords picked up an emergency beacon in the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve. Hornstrandir is an uninhabited wilderness in the northern part of the Westfjords peninsula. The area can only be reached by boat or on foot, as there are no roads in the area. 

Twenty ICE-SAR members from the towns of Ísafjörður, Hnífsdalur and Bolungarvík were immediately dispatched to the area on zodiac boats. The local news site Vísir reports that ICE-SAR was unable to establish any contact with whomever had activated the emergency beacon, but the nature and location of the signal suggested it came from hikers, rather than seafarers.

Incomprehensible troubles of two men in their 20s 
When the search and rescue units arrived at the scene they discovered two young French hikers, men in their 20s, who were hiking between two of the abandoned fjords in the area. The men were wet and cold, and seemed to have lost part of their hiking equipment. One of the men explained he had fallen into the sea while hiking, losing his backpack in the process.

A member of ICE-SAR who was in charge of the rescue of the men told a local newspaper Morgunblaðið it was incomprehensible how the man had managed to fall into the sea and lose his backpack. The area and walking path where the man had fallen into the ocean, losing his backpack, is on level ground. He said the two men had never been in any real danger, although they were both cold and exhausted.

The backpack was found and recovered after a short search. The two travellers were taken to Ísafjörður town by ICE-SAR.

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