A wave on Reynisfjara Beach seized another life yesterday. The man, a vacationer from China, was standing by the trap rock on the shore when he lost his feet on the shoreline, the wave caught him and carried him half a kilometer out with his wife helplessly witnessing the accident.
The search and rescue team working on location found the man in the ocean 550 meters of the shore, they said the sea was particularly cold and the currents unusually strong that morning, despite the weather being calm and clear.
Just a couple of hours after the fatality there was another group of tourists enjoying the beach again. Many ignoring the warning signs that clearly inform of the danger.
Head of police in the south Sveinn Kristján Rúnarsson clamed that Icelanders must stop sticking their head in the sand regarding the safety of travelers in Iceland, increasingly visiting the country around the year, not only in the summer. Reynisfjara is one of Iceland´s more popular destinations and he proposes the idea to have a year-round standing guard on the beach. He also points to the fact that a variety of measures have been taken to insure safety; marked walking paths, warning signs and informational signs, but regardless, visitors appear to ignore the danger. More extreme measures must be taken on the location he claims.
On social media one can frequently see images of people endangering their lives on the beach, seemingly unaware or ignoring the danger. Icenews reported a near fatality earlier in the month when a tourist was almost swept out to sea.
The District administrative officer of Mýrdalshreppur informs that the public safety committee will hold an emergency meeting about the case. He offers no explanation as to why tourists seem to ignore the warnings around the beach, among them a large noticeable sign explaining the danger on that particular beach.
(Image is taken from the collection of the National Broadcasting Service and credit belongs to Magnús H. Jóhannsson Musher RÚV)