A Coast Guard helicopter. Photo by Páll Stefánsson
The tourists, a couple and two children, took photos of the animal and police were notified of the sighting. Police arrived on the scene shortly after and a search was conducted by helicopter, but the bear was not found, mbl.is reports.
Four polar bears have come to land since 2008; two in 2008, one in 2010 and one last year. All were shot dead. In an interview with Stöð 2 last year, zoologist Ævar Petersen stressed that polar bears are protected and that therefore shooting them is considered a crime.
Click here to read about other instances of polar bears coming to shore in Iceland.