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Dangerous Waves on Reynisfjara Beach

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Dangerous Waves on Reynisfjara Beach

From Reynisfjara beach. Archive photo. Photo: Finnbogi Sigurður Marinosson

Despite the good weather today, waves are extremely dangerous on Reynisfjara beach, South Iceland.

German-born tour guide Katherina Breslauer, who was traveling with her group to the beach today, reported of dozens of tourists who got wet or even completely soaked by waves. One tourist was trapped when visiting the cave behind the basalt rocks; it was sheer luck that she made it back to the beach. Katharina stated the woman had criticized the fact that a danger sign was only located in the parking lot, where she did not notice it.

“The wave situation is extremely dangerous today,” Katherina told Iceland Review. “Yesterday, we had a storm offshore, and the south wind still creates a lot of waves.”

The waves on Icelandic beaches are dangerous throughout the year.
The island is situated on a plateau, with waves reaching the shore from great depth, without being visible. So-called sneaker waves can drag a person at high speed into the sea, making a rescue almost impossible, especially when the water is cold.

In February, police officers monitored the beach after a tourist was swept away and drowned. On stormy winter days, the beach area has also been closed for security reasons.

Katharina Breslauer, who has witnessed countless dangerous situations at Reynisfjara, believes there is need for more safety measures all year round.

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