Icelandic rescuers searching for lost Swede

The search for a 25 year-old Swedish man, who set off along the Fimmvorduhals mountain hiking route alone yesterday, has so far borne no results. The weather in the search area is bad and worsening.

The man called the emergency services on the 112 telephone number at 22.20 last night, saying he was lost, cold and scared. He had been walking the south Iceland hiking route for six to eight hours and said he was located on a glacier (which, if true, would mean he had taken a serious wrong turn onto the Eyjafjallajokull or Myrdalsjokull glaciers, which the mountain path goes between).

ICE-SAR volunteer rescue workers were called out from all over South Iceland to look for the man last night. More joined them this morning and at midday it was believed as many as 300 search & rescue experts were looking for the Swede, RUV reported.

Svanur Saevar Larusson is head of the ICE-SAR division in Hella and is co-ordinating today’s mission. “We have begun to move further in to the glacier after having analysed the man’s telephone call with the emergency services more closely,” Larusson says. Tracked vehicles and snowmobiles are being used for the glacier search; but the weather is poor. “The forecast is pretty ugly but we hold out hope for a small let-up between two and four which could give us the chance to use the helicopter,” Larusson adds; saying that a Coastguard helicopter has been on the scene but needed to give up several times because of the weather.

A journalist at Skogar, where the rescuers come to rest, says that rescuers’ expectation for a successful rescue remain generally high, although they admit conditions are difficult. There is heavy rain in the search area and high winds.

Nothing has been heard of the man since his phone call last night.

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