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Iceland Mag

Travel

Video: Visitors toying with death at Reynisfjara, Gullfoss, ignore fences and warning signs

By Staff

  • No obstacle Police ribbon and chainlink fence across the path, indicating it is closed, seems to have zero impact at Gullfoss. Photo taken last winter, but according to local guides conditions are the same this winter. Photo/Hermann Valsson.

Local guides worry that it is just a matter of time before the next accident claims the life of a foreign traveller at one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations. Posting warning signs or closing dangerous walking paths seems to have little to no impact on people's behaviour. Reporters from local media have visited several popular destinations since the tragic accident at the black sand Kirkjufjara beach on Monday, documenting travellers ignoring warning signs.

Read more: Woman swept to sea at Reynisfjara beach earlier today has been pronounced dead

When a reporter from the local newspaper Morgunblaðið visited Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland he met a group of travellers who were running in the surf, within feet of the incoming waves. The travellers claimed they hadn't read the signs warning of the waves. The waves at the black sand beaches in South Iceland are unpredictable, with one in six, ten or twenty waves being far larger than previous waves, crashing much further in on the beach.

Employees at a nearby restaurant Svarta fjaran which overlooks the beach told the reporter that they have repeatedly seen travellers going too close to the surf, and climbing over police ribbons set up after Monday's accident.

Read more: Travellers stubbornly refuse to respect warning signs, venture onto closed Kirkjufjara beach

The local TV station Stöð 2 interviewed a local guide who worried that visitors at Gullfoss refuse to stay on the walking paths, going right to the edge of the cliff where they can easily stumble or lose their footing in slick and icy conditions. Part of the walking path has repeatedly been closed due to mud and slick conditions, but travellers simply climb over the gate. Stöð 2 ran footage of travellers climbing over the fence and walking righ to the edge to get better photos and selfies:

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV visited Valahnúkur cliff, on Reykjanes peninsula. The clff had been closed after a large crack opened up where a huge section of the cliff is breaking off. Anyone standing on this section when it breaks off would plunge down into the rocky beach below, along with a large rock slide. It is doubtful that anyone could survive such an accident.

Read more:Picturesque Valahnúkur cliff on Reykjanes peninsula closed due to danger of landslide

When RÚV visited Valahnúkur they met a group of travellers who told them they had not seen the signs indicating the area was closed. A fence which had been erected across the walking path had blown over in one of the storms of the past days. However, the cracks in the ground should also  be an indication the area is unsafe. The cracks have become wide and deep enough for the sea below to be visible through them.

 

 

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