A six-year-old child was saved on Reynisfjara beach yesterday by a rescue worker who had mistakenly been called out to that beach instead of the adjacent Kirkjufjara beach, RÚV reports. Yesterday’s accident on Kirkjufjara beach claimed the life of a German woman.
First reports of a family having landed in the ocean indicated that the accident had occurred on Reynisfjara beach. The first rescue worker to arrive there, Ívar Guðnason, was having lunch when called out. He hurried down to Reynisfjara where he found a couple in danger close to the cliffs by the beach.
He told the man to bring their two children to shelter while he assisted the mother getting down from the cliffs. “Then I heard screams and by then, the children were in the ocean.” Ívar quickly jumped down to assist the children.
The father caught hold of one of the girls, Ívar of the other. It took a lot of struggle. “I was completely submerged and couldn’t control anything, but was able to find my way out,” Ívar recounted. With a great effort, he was able to regain his footing and get back to shore.
Ívar told RÚV that travelers don’t realize the extent of the danger in this area. “It doesn’t look bad when you first approach it.” On the other hand, every sixth to tenth wave is much more powerful than the rest, he warned. Therefore, people may assume it’s safe to venture out a certain distance, not realizing that some waves reach much farther than the rest and are able to snatch people into the ocean.