This spectacular image taken near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon yesterday might look like the fodder of extreme sports websites, but it’s actually a tourist risking their life for a photo.
Icelandic tour guide, Kristján E. Karlsson, snapped the images of the traveller in danger and posted them to the Facebook group ‘Bakland Ferðaþjónustunnar.’
The Diamond beach is a popular tourist attraction in Iceland’s east. It is the place where icebergs from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon drift into the ocean. The beach gets its name from the jewelled appearance of the coastline caused by these icebergs.
The tourist had climbed onto an iceberg to take a picture on the shoreline of the famous beach. Soon after, an unpredictable wave surrounded the icy platform and the tourist was stranded.
Onlookers and guides were powerless to help in the situation as the sea in that area (as in much of Iceland’s coast) is unpredictable, and attempting to rescue someone in that situation without professional help can be dangerous.
The tourist was stranded for a few minutes but was eventually able to get back to shore unharmed, which is an incredibly lucky escape.
See Also: Iceland is the Safest Place to Visit
Kristján told Icelandic news website ‘MBL’ that situations like this are almost a daily occurrence at the Diamond beach and in the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Despite numerous signs and warnings from guides, each year there are several of these completely avoidable instances.
Iceland’s natural beauty and lack of dangerous animals can often lead people to forget about safety precautions when in nature. The biggest threat to a tourists life here in Iceland is their own decision making.
Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t become the subject of another one of these stories, cause let’s face it, nobody wants to be that guy:
- There are signs everywhere in many languages telling you how to be safe. Read and respect them.
- The sea around Iceland looks cool because it is. It’s FREEZING! It’s so cold hypothermia can set in within minutes, and the current is unpredictable meaning waves can sneak up out of nowhere.
- Ice is slippery. Ice + unpredictable tide + freezing cold ocean can equal the worst end to a holiday in Iceland. So before you try to get that awesome selfie, on top an iceberg, next to the freezing waters of the Atlantic ocean that used to scare even the most robust Vikings, maybe weigh up these factors and realise it’s probably not worth it.