Extensive Search for Lost Tourist on Mountain Ridge Skip to content

Extensive Search for Lost Tourist on Mountain Ridge

Search and rescue units from the entire southern and southwestern regions have been searching for a missing tourist on the Fimmvörduháls mountain ridge the entire night after he called the emergency hotline 112 at 10 pm yesterday evening.

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ICE-SAR members at practice. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.

Other search and rescue units are now being recruited and Svanur Saevar Lárusson of ICE-SAR, who conducts the search mission, told ruv.is that he expects around 300 people to participate in the search before noon.

The Coast Guard’s helicopter, which was involved in the search last night, had to retreat to the Westman Islands due to poor visibility. Its crew is waiting for the weather to clear up.

“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack the way the situation is now,” Lárusson commented.

The man had planned to hike across the ridge which lies between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull and is a popular hiking path but lost sight of the track.

“We are searching in the area between the two glaciers, from the Baldvinsskáli cabin and across to the northern edge,” Lárusson described.

The man said he was cold and exhausted when he reached 112 last night. He didn’t know where he was but said he was standing on ice which search and rescuers considered to indicate that he had wandered onto one of the two glaciers.

The call was traced taking that information into account and he seemed to be located on the southeastern side of Eyjafjallajökull.

Lárusson said a field control center has been established by Baldvinsskáli, on top of the mountain ridge, and tents and other equipment are being transported there so that search and rescuers can rest.

The conditions are difficult. “We decided to significantly increase manpower now because worsening weather is predicted at noon. We will put all our effort in finding the man before that time,” Lárusson said.

Not much is known about the man or whether he had informed anyone about his travels before he set out. His full name and nationality are unknown but judging by the phone conversation with 112 he might be Swedish.

Click here to read about safe traveling in Iceland.

ESA

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