Iceland Mag

15 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Travel

Search and rescue units robbed of Christmas by travellers who refuse to heed weather warnings

By Staff

  • Some accidents could have been avoided Difficult driving conditions due to snow and ice near the town of Vík in South Iceland. Photo/Bryndís

Members of South Iceland Search and Rescue Units were busy during Christmas helping travellers who were stuck or had lost control of their vehicles due to the severe weather. Dozens of travellers had to be assisted since Christmas Day.

Search and Rescue Units treated as a Taxi service
A member of the Search and Rescue unit Víkverji from the village of Vík told the local radio station Bylgjan that the unit had been called out on several utterly unnecessary missions to help travellers who would not have needed any assistance had they shown common sense or listened to weather warnings. 

"For example, we were at Sólheimasandur Beach last night rescuing people who were walking down to the crashed airplaine, but there was nothing wrong with them. We were pretty much operating as a Taxi service, but we had to dispatch 10 men and three cars. So there are alot of requests which we would like to be rid of."

He added that a lot of the requests from help came from people who didn't seem to have any idea of how to travel in Icelandic weather conditions.

Police urges people to prepare
Several road accidents in South Iceland were caused by the severe weather yesterday. Police in South Iceland reported that six cars with foreign travellers were involved in accidents just west of the village of Vík. Three cars skidded off the road in the hill down to the village, and three others were involved in a three-car collision on the same stretch of road. 

According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service two of the cars involved in the collisions were completely destroyed. The road was extremely slippery due to ice and snow.

In a Facebook post the Police in South Iceland urged travellers to prepare before heading out, reminding people not to drive in winter conditions in cars which had not been outfitted for winter travel.

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