Tourists Rescued from Car Roofs: Video

Vala Hafstað

Yesterday, the crew of the Icelandic Coast Guard helicopter rescued three foreign tourists from the roof of their vehicles, which had gotten stuck while crossing a lagoon on the Gæsavatnaleið route, north of Vatnajökull glacier, mbl.is reports.

The helicopter took off shortly before 4 pm and arrived at the scene an hour later. It found the travelers on top of their vehicles, which were partly emerged in water. The rescue went very well, but the vehicles remained stuck in the water this morning. All three tourists escaped unharmed.

The vehicles, stuck in the stream.

The vehicles, stuck in the stream. Photo/The police

“There were six vehicles traveling together, and five of them had made it across when the last one got stuck,” explains a Húsavík police officer. “At that point, one of the five vehicles went back into the water, intending to provide assistance, but got stuck as well.”

Rescue workers deemed it unwise to try to rescue the people by driving into the water, since the vehicles were close to 30 meters (100 ft) from shore and the current strong. They therefore called out the helicopter.

 “This isn’t exactly a river. Instead, it is water that runs off from the glacier and the lava field, called Flæður. Normally, it’s a passable route, but things can quickly change,” the officer adds. He states that the tourists are not to blame, for they did in fact do everything correctly. They followed a marked track when crossing Flæður. “This is just a dangerous area, like the rest of the highlands,” he adds.

Luckily, despite a strong current, the vehicles remained steady in the water while the people waited for help, which they did for about two hours.

You can watch a video of the rescue above.

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