With a walker in the sea at Reynisfjara Black Beach yesterday

Carlos Mondragón Galera took these picture of tourists at Reynisfjara …

Carlos Mondragón Galera took these picture of tourists at Reynisfjara Black Beach yesterday. Photo/Carlos Mondragón Galera

Tourists were in danger in Reynisfjara Black Beach yesterday when a group walked into the sea despite considerable waves. Carlos Mondragón Galera, an employee of Black Ice Travel Company, took pictures of the tourists and posted on the Facebook group Stupid Things People Do in Iceland, one of which features an elderly woman with a walker in the sea.

Safety measures at Reynisfjara have been a hot topic, as there have been five fatal beach accidents in the last six years. Periodically, footage of strange behavior by tourists on the beach is posted online and it appears to be a regular occurrence despite warnings in the area.

Calls for coast guards

Þórarinn Böðvar Leifsson, a tour guide who regularly has tourists in the area, tells mbl.is that the local alarm system is not working properly and calls for a lifeguard or beach guard to be hired to be in the area. He says that this is really the only solution to prevent people from getting hurt.

Warning signs at Reynisfjara Black Beach.

Warning signs at Reynisfjara Black Beach. Ljósmynd/Aðsend

“It’s a theme that comes up again and again around this beach. I think it’s a shame that we don’t invest in lifeguards there. There should be two lifeguards on duty. The system that is there is broken and has not been good. “It takes a very stressed man with a whistle,” he says, while Reynisfjara has ten information signs and law enforcement cameras. One of the signs is a lighted sign directly linked to the Icelandic Road Administration’s wave forecasting system.

The system is a designer fiasco

He says the information and the system present in the area is too complicated and shows tourists who are not aware of the dangers a great deal of understanding. He says that Icelanders must not assume that all tourists are stupid, saying that it is Iceland’s responsibility to inform tourists better.

“Most of the time I get there, there’s the same yellow light, no matter how the waves are. The information design is also very bad on the signs. This is an example of very bad information design and very bad investment.

You need ten minutes as an Icelander to figure out what’s going on, let alone if you speak other languages and don’t know the area. It’s a design fiasco. People have not come to Iceland to read signs.”

Carlos Mondragón told DV that he had given up warning people about the dangers of the beach and that people did not listen to his instructions.


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