The Coast Guard helicopter TF-GRO was called out yesterday, October 11, to remove two tires that had washed up on the beach near Bessastaðir.
Attempts to remove the rubbish had proved unsuccessful, and the Coast Guard helicopter was called in to aid in the operation. The tires were successfully removed and flown to Bessastaðir, where they will be disposed of.
Bessastaðir, located on Álftanes peninsula, is also the location of the presidential residence. The former farm was donated to the Icelandic state in 1941 and has been the home of the President of Iceland since the founding of the republic. Because the beach cleaning operation took place near the residence, the coast guard crew took the opportunity to include President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson in a training exercise.
The exercise involved simulating a rescue situation, in which Guðni himself was lifted by winch into the helicopter. He was soon returned in one piece after the conclusion of the exercise, which also involved a brief flight over the Álftanes peninsula. The crew was also invited for coffee at Bessastaðir following the exercise.
The Icelandic Coast Guard currently operates three helicopters, in addition to the turboprop surveillance and rescue aircraft TF-SIF.