The Coast Guard’s aircraft and helicopters were called out 278 times in 2018, RÚV reports, which is more callouts in one year than there have ever been in Iceland.
Last year’s total callouts represent an 8% increase from those made in 2017, when Coast Guard aircraft and/or helicopters were summoned 257 times. In 2016, by contrast, 180 patients were airlifted for prompt medical assistance. Overall, there has been a 74% increase in aircraft callouts since 2011, when there were 160 total all year.
Half of the 2018 callouts were made on behalf of foreign nationals. In their announcement about last year’s aerial dispatches, the Coast Guard said the increased numbers really came as no surprise, given the developments of recent years.
Indeed, Iceland received upwards of 2.3 million tourists in 2017, which perhaps casts 2018’s 278 callouts in a still rather favorable light.