British Hikers Respond to Criticism Skip to content

British Hikers Respond to Criticism

By Iceland Review

The British hikers who were saved by rescue teams three times in December, as they attempted to cross the country, have responded to criticism in an interview with Iceland Magazine.

They said they would like to respond to negative comments directed toward them regarding their adventure in Iceland.

The group would like to point out that they worked closely with ICE-SAR during the year while preparing for the trip. ICE-SAR Project Manager Guðbrandur Örn Arnarson posted a statement on Facebook regarding ICE-SAR’s involvement with the hikers.

Part of his statement reads,

“ICE-SAR rents out emergency beacons (PLB’s) and we provided the team with a beacon. In addition the team had a SPOT device, a sat phone and GSM phones. The team did also have GPS and Icelandic maps and had been in the area last summer preparing for the expedition. To be absolutely clear the team was not irresponsible and poorly equipped.“

The statement concludes,

”We have had other teams run into severe trouble in Iceland and they have exposed rescue teams to significant risk for calling for help too late or after they had gotten into severe trouble. The Coldest crossing team was preemptive and cautious asking for assistance before they needed emergency extraction in the worst conditions.”

The hikers posted a statement on their Twitter account, saying they have received a number of death threats, which they take seriously and will be handing them over to authorities.

Their plan is to donate money to ICE-SAR for their help. The amount has yet to be determined. A film is being made about their adventures, and they plan to donate part of its proceeds to ICE-SAR.

They also point out that the third time they were rescued, the rescue mission was incorporated into a training exercise the ICE-SAR helicopter was on in the area. Thus, they say, no additional cost was incurred.

Finally, the hikers stress that they had purchased mountaineering insurance prior to the trip, which includes USD 100,000 for search and rescue operations. It is, however, not clear how much that insurance will cover, since Icelandic rescue services are free and supported by donations.

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