Dozens of tourists, among them children, ventured out on the ice of the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón again today. The national broadcastings service received numerous phone calls expressing worry, from several individual tour guides. This is not the first time this winter tourists are seen going out on the ice floes and guides warn that people are taking an enormous risk by so doing, even endangering their lives.
There were reports of this conduct last week, the same week a tourist was swept out to see in a fatal accident on Reynisfjara beach. With additional near fatal accidents on that same location, guides and Icelanders in general are on their toes when it comes to reckless behavior of visitors in the often-precarious winter landscape of the island. Even with police watch over the Reynisfjara beach some tour companies have stopped taking their visitors there, it seems that even with stern warning and police presence people still venture close to the sea and are almost swept out by the sudden big waves and their undertow.
The Glacier Lagoon saw a bright and sunny day today and seals made an appearance as they often do on the ice, basking in the sun. This might have captivated the tourists, seducing them out on the ice and closer to the seals. It seems only to be a matter of time until a life is lost if this behavior persists, the Ice is fragile and changeable and people venture far, two to three hundred meters out, if an accident were to occur it would be difficult to mount a rescue out on the ice. Ingólfur Bruun witnessed the tourists out on the ice to day and expresses great concern and fears a looming accident if this behavior persists.
(Image credit goes to Ingólfur Bruun)