Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Culture

Celebrate Icelandic victory in the Cod Wars at a Coast Guard open house on Sunday

By Staff

  • The Icelandic Coast Guard A photograph of the Coast Guard hangar at the Downtown Airport in Reykjavík. Photo/Icelandic Coast Guard

The Icelandic Coast guard will celebrate that this year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the coast guard acquiring its first airplane and the fortieth anniversary of Iceland expanding its exclusive economic zone to 200 nautical miles with an open house in its hangars at the Downtown Airport in Reykjavík. The Coast Guard hangar by the Nauthólsvík public beach will be open to the public this Sunday between 12:00 and 16:00.

The Cod Wars: When the Icelandic Coast guard fought the Royal Navy
The expansion of the Exclusive Economic Zone to 200 nautical miles in 1975 marked the conclusion of decades of struggle between Iceland and England over fishing in Icelandic waters, ushering in what is known as the “Fourth Cod War”. The other “Cod Wars” were waged between Iceland and England in 1948-1956, 1958-1961 and 1972-1973.

The Cod Wars involved Icelandic Coast Guard vessels disrupting the fishing of English trawlers. In 1972 Iceland introduced a new secret weapon in the struggle, the “net cutter” which was used to cut the trawling wires of English vessels, causing them to lose both their catch and nets. The English responded by deploying the Royal Navy to Icelandic waters to protect its trawlers. Icelandic Coast Guard vessels fired upon English vessels as well, which in turn rammed Icelandic vessels. This war, which is the only war Iceland has actually waged against a foreign power, ended in no casualties and a full Icelandic victory.

Visitors are welcome
Coast Guard personnel will greet visitors and tell them about the operations of the Coast Guard. Guests will be able to explore the Coast Guard helicopters and its airplane, as well as the various equipment used by the Coast Guard, including boats, diving gear, bomb disposal equipment as well as photographs showing the Coast Guard at work.

“The Coast Guard hopes people will take the opportunity to come and visit us to get to know our operations, meet our staff, look at our gear and celebrate these milestones with us.”

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