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Iceland Mag


Photos: Travellers in grave danger on Reynisfjara beach, narrowly escape being swept away by waves

By Staff

  • Caught off guard Despite repeated warnings and lectures by tour guides and drivers foreign travellers keep going too close to the surf on Reynisfjara beach, putting themselves into serious danger. Fortunately the young woman in the picture was rescued. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook.

A group of foreign travellers were in grave danger on Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland last Monday. At least four travellers were caught in the powerful incoming surf, including a young Asian woman who narrowly escaped being swept into the sea by the undercurrent after the wave caught her. Kristján Guðmundsson, a tour guide who was some way off captured the event on film, while another nearby guide rushed to the woman´s rescue.

Reynisfjara, traveller in danger

Reynisfjara The waves can be difficult to predict, reaching high up the beach. Standing too close to the surf is therefore extremely dangerous. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook

The photographs were shared on Facebook, where he commented that this is not the first time something like this happens. In 2007 an American woman drowned after she was swept into the sea by an incoming wave.

Reynisfjara, traveller in danger

Reynisfjara  People who have been pulled down with the wave have described the experience as being stuck in a washing machine. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook

Reynisfjara beach with its black sands and dramatic cliffs and rock formatons is a popular destination for tourists. Tourists frequently get caught up in the moment, photographing the elements and enjoying the senseation and view, whch can be very dangerous. The local news site comments that a number of stories have been written in the last few years about travellers in danger on Reynisfjara beach. Foreign travellers frequently disregard warnings, and venture too close to the sea, not realizing how far up the beach the largest wave can reach.

Reynisfjara, traveller in danger

Reynisfjara The sand becomes extremely unstable as the wave is pulled back to the sea, making it difficult to get back to your feet. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook

Kristján, who captured the photographs from afar with a zoom lens, says that the weather was very bad this day, strong winds with high waves and a heavy surf on the beach. The Asian woman who was nearly swept to sea was not the only traveller in danger. Prior to the woman being caught in the surf another unidentified traveller was in even greater danger, and several others who ventured far too close to the sea and at least two others were “caught in the washing machine”, as he puts it.

Reynisfjara, traveller in danger

Reynisfjara At least three other travellers were caught by the waves that day. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook

Kristján notes that despite being lectured on the dangers by guides travellers seem determined on behaving recklessly. “People are trying to do their best, drivers, guides and everyone else, but people just don’t listen,” he says.

Reynisfjara, traveller in danger

Reynisfjara A nearby guide ran to the rescue. Photo/Kristján Guðmundsson, Facebook



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