Travelers visiting the beach Djúpalónssandur on Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland risked their lives by standing too close to the surf on two occasions on Saturday. Giant waves crashed over the people and started pulling them out to sea.
Search and rescue association member Ægir Þór Þórsson was working as a guide in nearby Vatnshellir cave when a Spanish couple sought his assistance. They were soaking wet and exhausted, ruv.is reports.
The couple had been standing on the shore when a wave hit them. The girl lost her footing and was about to be pulled out by the current when her partner grabbed hold of her and managed to pull her back to land.
The couple was able to dry off and change their clothes in the cave.
The man, who works as a lifeguard, mentioned that he had never experienced a scenario where giant waves appear out of nowhere.
After hearing the couple’s story, Ægir decided to monitor the beach and at that very moment he noticed another couple stand near the surf. Before he was able to catch the people’s attention, a wave washed over them, but they quickly managed to retreat up the beach.
Ægir stated that the danger sign on Djúpalónssandur isn’t sufficient, as it mainly warns people against going into the sea but doesn’t mention the risk of waves pulling people out.
Such scenarios are known on other beaches in Iceland. Two people have drowned in recent years on the popular Reynisfjara in South Iceland when they were caught by the surf. There have been reports of tourists ignoring warning signs.