Four missing in snow and wind in east Iceland – found safe

Search & rescue teams in East Iceland have been searching for four people lost in bad weather on Fljótsdalsheiði. Nobody had heard from the group since Saturday morning; but they were eventually found safe last night.

The four men went out to try and get straggling sheep back to the lowlands — sheep who slipped through the metaphorical net during the round-up in the autumn. They set off in a 4×4 vehicle and with snowmobiles; but had not been heard from since Saturday morning.

All east Iceland rescue teams were called into action; all the way from Vopnafjörður in the northeast to Höfn í Hornafirði in the southeast. The search area was reportedly very big, a statement from ICE-SAR (Iceland Search & Rescue) states.

Shortly into the search effort yesterday teams also started checking mountainside emergency shelters and tracing the course of known roads and trails in search of the men’s vehicles.

Their car was found yesterday evening, but there was no sign of them or their two snowmobiles. Later in the night the crew of a coastguard helicopter saw a light on at the remote Egilssel mountain hut and located the lost men there. They were flown to Egilsstaðir for medical check-ups but seemed to be in good health. Over 80 rescuers were out looking for the men who had run into difficulties in the bad weather and had done the right thing by searching for a hiking hut. Egilssel has heating and emergency food.