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Stricter Rules Requested in Silfra

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Stricter Rules Requested in Silfra

Silfra in Þingvellir

Silfra. Photo: Sverrir H. Geirmundsson.

Þingvellir National Park Manager Ólafur Örn Haraldsson has asked the Icelandic Transport Authority (Samgöngustofa) to impose stricter rules and monitoring regarding scuba-diving and snorkeling in Silfra fissure, following the fatal accident there in February, the fourth since 2010, RÚV reports. A US male tourist in his 60s, who was snorkeling in the fissure, died. In addition to the four fatal accidents, six serious accidents have occurred in Silfra.

The Transport Authority and the Ministry for the Interior are reviewing Ólafur’s request. The police believe the February incident was an accident and find it unlikely that the failure of equipment was to blame.

According to the South Iceland Police, autopsy results are still being awaited, but preliminary results indicate the cause of death was drowning.

Ólafur stated that the Transport Authority had been open toward ideas about oxygen tanks and other equipment being certified by the Authority. He explained that safety equipment is being installed at six locations in Þingvellir National Park.

Dive.is and Arctic Adventures, the two largest companies selling access to Silfra, have both increased safety measures since the February accident. Guests over the age of 60, or those with a history of a medical condition, must now provide a health certificate before given access to Silfra. Those tourists who have no prior diving experience are now advised to snorkel instead.

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