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Tourist Risks Life on Drift Ice for Selfie

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Tourist Risks Life on Drift Ice for Selfie

Jökulsárlón tourist walks on ice

Photo: A screenshot from RÚV.

An American tourist was spotted walking across the ice flows on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on Friday, apparently risking his life for the sake of a selfie, RÚV reports. Tour guide Páll Jónsson spotted the man and took a video of him making his way across the ice. “He was really lucky,” said Páll. “If he had fallen in between [the ice floes], there would have been nothing to talk about. It would have been over.”

Páll said the man walked a long way out into the middle of the lagoon. “He had a selfie-stick and was taking pictures of himself. It was terrible to see, with the ice moving so quickly. If he’d fallen in, he could have been crushed and definitely wouldn’t have come up again. It would have been hopeless to go out after him.” Páll said that he had a word with the man when he returned to his girlfriend, who was waiting on the beach. “I didn’t want to start a fight, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to say that that hadn’t been smart and he was lucky.”

Signs at Jökulsárlón indicate that it’s forbidden to go out onto the ice. The man initially claimed to be Canadian and said that he was an iceberg expert. “I told him that that’s as may be, but he’s still human. It wouldn’t matter what he was if he fell into the water. The end result would be the same. He said that he was used to [walking across drift ice] from the United States, where he was from.”

Bystanders applauded the man when he returned to shore. “I’ve seen people skip across ice floes in the current before, but not so heedlessly,” said Páll. “I thought I was going to watch him die. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.”

Páll called the police about the incident, but the man left quickly after speaking to him. His video of the man’s excursion onto the ice can be watched here.

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