Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

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Foreign travellers, family of three, manages to rescue itself before Search and Rescue teams arrive

By Staff

  • Iceland Search and Rescue The all-volunteer force stands ready to leave work or family on moments notice to assist travellers in distress. Photo/Ernir

A massive search for a missing traveller ended well yesterday evening when it turned out the missing traveller was in fact a family of three, a couple and a child who is younger than ten, and that the family had managed to "rescue itself" as the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service put it in its coverage of the incidence.

An uncompleted distress call
At two in the afternoon yesterday Search and Rescue units in East Iceland were notified of a hiker in distress in the mountains west of the village of Borgarfjörður eystri in East Iceland. A foreign traveller, a woman, had called 112 to request assistance because she was at an impasse in steep cliffs, but before she could complete the call or describe where she was, the connection was lost and attempts to reestablish connection failed. 

While the caller had been unable to give her location or any other details the origin of the call could be determined. Members of ICE-SAR in East Iceland were called out to search for a missing hiker in the area. Several ICE-SAR units with search dogs and aerial drones were dispatched to the area to search for what Police believed was one woman. The coast guard also sent its helicopter to East Iceland to assist in the search. 

Lost family rescues itself
Shortly after dinner the search was called off when Search and Rescue units found the missing traveller by her car, along with her family. The woman, who placed the distress call, had not had time to tell the 112 operator that she was travelling with her husband and child before the connection was lost. When she was unable to make a second call she and her husband thought no help was arriving, so they decided to try to make it back to safety on their own.

The family made it safely back to their car, which is where they were then discovered by ICE-SAR.

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