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Fisherman Dies After Falling Overboard

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Fisherman Dies After Falling Overboard

Hólmavík

Hólmavík in winter. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A man in his fifties died yesterday after falling from a fishing boat on Húnaflói bay, Northwest Iceland.

There were two men from Hólmavík on board the boat, which was fishing for lumpfish east of Drangsnes at midday yesterday, according to Hannes Leifsson, from the Hólmavík police.

After the man fell overboard, the second man on board called the emergency services and the coastguard helicopter, local fishing vessels and local search & rescue teams were alerted.

It was the helicopter which reached the scene first, and the man was pronounced dead on the spot, BB.is reports.

Residents of the small West Fjords village of Hólmavík are said to be in shock and the West Fjords police are investigating the case.

The man has been named as 54-year-old Ólaf­ur Jó­hann­es Friðriks­son.

Drowning and accidents at sea were the leading cause of death among Icelandic men for centuries and the death toll only started to drop with improved safety regulations from the middle of the 20th century. Over 4,000 people died at sea in the last century and it is believed that 2008 was the first year since Iceland’s settlement over a thousand years earlier when nobody at all died at sea around the country.

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