A fifteen-year-old boy broke his hand and suffered a collapsed lung after falling into a crevasse in Geitlandsjökull glacier, mbl.is reports. He is currently recovering at a hospital. The boy was on a vacation with family and friends and was riding tandem on a snowmobile.
A snowmobile on Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Photo by Páll Stefánsson
According to the Borgarnes police, who are investigating the accident, it remains unclear why the snowmobile was driven ahead of the others and into a crevasse zone.
The accident took place by the Hamarinn cliff on the glacier, approximately four kilometers from the Kaldadalur lodge, the usual starting point for hiking the glacier. The police say there are still many questions unanswered as to why the boy fell into the crevasse. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the boy was driving, but he is not legally old enough to operate a snowmobile.
Ásgeir Saemundsson, a member of the search and rescue team who undertook the operation, says that the boy did the right thing by stepping off the snowmobile and examining his surroundings when he realized he had entered a dangerous crevasse zone. It appears that he only took a few steps before he was swallowed by the glacier.
Saemundsson says that when walking on a glacier people should tie themselves together, as that provides greater safety. If one of them falls into a crevasse, the others can protect the victim from falling far and even hoist the person back up. He says that the glacier was slick and difficult to walk on due to a bright sun. “However, the fact remains that glaciers are always tricky and so are snowmobiles.”