Earlier in the week a group of visitors on a tour visiting Reynisfjara Beach experienced the power—and the danger—of the North Atlantic Ocean. First, two of the tourists ventured too close to the water, almost getting swept up by the surf. They avoided a catastrophe but shortly after, another tourist, a young woman, made the exact same mistake and nearly succumbed to the strong current and aggressive waves.
Having visitors go too close to the sea on tours at Reynisfjara has been a consistent problem for many years. Kristján Guðmundsson, a bus driver, was present at this latest incident and managed to snap a series of photographs of the young woman who came very close to drowning but was saved by a guide who rushed to her rescue. He posted these pictures on facebook as a way to bring awareness to the danger of going near the water. In Kristján’s opinion, people just don’t seem to listen to repeated warnings and instructions to be careful.
There are multiple signs on the beach, which is an extremely beautiful and popular destination for sightseers, telling visitors of the dangers of the unpredictable ocean, where waves can creep up on the shore faster and stronger than people think. In 2007 a woman drowned after being swept out by the current.
As with the diving accident at the Silfra fissure two weeks ago, this is another wake up call for people traveling to Iceland, reminding them that there is a perilous side to all the natural beauty that makes this country so unique and special.