Tourist guide Pascale Elísabet Skúladóttir caught a video early Saturday of fierce waves in Reynisfjara that threatened to wash unsuspecting tourists to sea, RÚV reports. Pascale says that all too often, tourists ignore warning signs on the beach, putting themselves in danger.
Reynisfjara beach is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, routinely appearing on lists of must-see non-tropical beaches. Its black sands and opportune view of the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall are a consistent draw for tourists.
Reynisfjara beach, however, can be a dangerous spot in bad weather. Pascale’s video, shown below, depicts tourists who venture too close to the water and are suddenly swept off their feet by a powerful wave. Luckily no-one was seriously hurt, but the sudden chaos shown in the video is a powerful reminder of how quickly the tides can turn in Reynisfjara.
Pascale says that on bad weather days like last Saturday, she doesn’t take her clients far beyond the beach’s designated walking path. The tourists in the video, however, were about ten meters closer to the sea than is recommended.
“There are prominent warning signs in a few languages along the beach, but they are ignored by at least half of the tourists visiting. When I warn people, they often tell me to mind my own business” Pascale says. She further recommends that people avoid areas of the beach where the sand is smooth, which tends to indicate areas where the waves have reached.