Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Accidents, Search and Rescue

Midnight rescue of travelers stuck in cliffs at one of Snæfellsnes' most picturesque spots

By Staff

  • Police car at Rauðfeldsgjá Travelers have on numerous occasions gotten themselves into trouble at Rauðfeldsgjá. Photo/Raf24, Creative Commons

Two foreign travelers were rescued at 2:30 am by a Coast Guard helicopter and members of ICE-SAR from cliffs on southern Snæfellsnes. The men were unhurt. This is not the first time travelers get into trouble in the exact same location.

Rauðfeldsgjá, a deep narrow gorge, is one of the most picturesque spots on Snæfellsnes.

Not the first travelers in trouble at the same spot
The men had been climbing in the cliffs of Rauðfeldsgjá near the villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi late yesterday evening when they discovered they had gotten themselves into a situation they could not handle. The two men were stuck in the cliffs, and were unable to get down to safety. With the sun having set visibility was very limited.

Read more: Hellnar on Snæfellsnes one of "25 secret European villages you should visit in your lifetime"

Members of ICE-SAR had arrived at the scene at 1 am. With very little visibility and difficult conditions the rescuers decided it was impossible to reach the men and get them down by foot. Specialized mountain rescuers and a Coast Guard helicopter were deemed necessary to reach the men and get them back to saftery.

Einar Strand, a member of the ICE-SAR company which rescued the men, told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that the two men could have been better prepared for the hike, but added that they did everything correctly after they discovered they were in trouble.

"The two men were unhurt, but they certainly could have been better prepared for the conditions they were getting themselves into. However, they did the right thing when they stayed put to wait for assistance. While it's remarkably common for travelers to get into trouble in this spot, the two men had managed to get unusually far up into the cliffs."

Common sense advice to stay out of trouble
We at Iceland Magazine would like to urge people to show caution and stop and evaluate conditions before embarking on any hike or climb. Ensure that you will not be caught in inaccessible areas or far from settled areas after dark or during a storm. Remember that the weather can change quickly.

Do not embark upon hikes or climbs you are not equipped or prepared for. In case you do get into danger do not hesitate to call 112 with your information about your location. Always inform others about your travel plans and your estimated time of return. 

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