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Couple Rescued on Glacier During Storm

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Couple Rescued on Glacier During Storm

A search and rescue truck.

Archive photo. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Rescue workers were called out shortly before 5 pm yesterday to search for a man and a woman who had gone missing on Langjökull glacier, according to a press release form ICE-SAR. After a search in which 180 rescue workers participated, the couple was found shortly after 8:30 pm. Cold and exhausted, but uninjured, they were brought to safety by a rescue truck.

The couple was on an organized snowmobile tour, which took off from a hut by Geldingafell and traveled north of Skálpanes. That’s where the group turned around, but on the way back, a severe storm hit the area, in which the couple lost sight of the rest of the group. Once they realized they were lost, they stayed put.

Altogether, 180 rescue workers from South Iceland, the capital area and Reykjanes peninsula took part in the search.

RÚV reports that the couple was part of a snowmobile tour organized by Mountaineers of Iceland. The company has issued a statement, saying that its guides have a combined experience of decades traveling the glacier. They went ahead of the group to check conditions. Due to a favorable wind direction, they deemed it safe to set off with the group, even though a storm warning had been issued for the area.

The company praises the tourists who got lost for following guidelines about staying put once they noticed they were lost. Mountaineers of Iceland states that in the wake of the incident, company work procedures will be examined to see if they need revising.

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