The Coast Guard has expanded the search area in its effort to find a missing fisherman who fell overboard last Friday. A prayer service was held for the man in Grindavík on Sunday.
Most extensive search effort in years
The search continues for a fisherman who fell overboard just outside Faxaflói Bay on Friday afternoon. The man, a Grindavík resident and father of three, was a fisherman on the longline fishing boat Sighvatur GK-57, which is owned and operated by the Grindavík-based fishing company Vísir hf. The police have interviewed the ship’s captain and have deemed the incident a “tragic accident,” Vísir reports.
The search effort is the most extensive of its kind in years, Guðmundur Birkir Agnarsson, Director of Operations with the Icelandic Coast Guard, told the hosts of the radio programme Morgunútvarpið yesterday morning. On Saturday, fifteen boats participated in the search – among them the patrol ship Þór – in addition to two helicopters.
Given how many days have passed since the man fell into the sea, the Coast Guard has expanded the search area from 10 x 10 nautical miles to 18 x 18 nautical miles. Ásgeir Erlendsson, Public Relations Officer for the Icelandic Coast Guard, told Mbl.is yesterday that search conditions have been relatively good, despite not having found the man.
Prayer service in Grindavík
A prayer service was held for the fisherman in Grindavík on Sunday. Fannar Jónsson, Mayor of Grindavík, told Vísir that the community was ‘deeply saddened’ and that all they could do was wait.
According to Fannar, the prayer service was well attended, for an event such as this has an outsized effect on such a small community:
“Yes, it’s very hard. You have a big family and friends … the crew, the company, and the sailor’s family, they’re all hurting. But there’s a solidarity and a unity among the community, whenever something like this happens.”