"He was locked inside the boat"

The picture shows damage to the coastal boat Hadda.

The picture shows damage to the coastal boat Hadda. Photo/Óskar Pétur Friðriksson

Arnar Magnússon, engineer and coastal boat fisherman, was the first to arrive at the scene of the accident that happened northwest of Garðskagi at three o'clock last night when the shore fishing boat Hadda overturned. He says that at first, he thought it was a container, but he soon realized that it was not.

"When I saw what kind of boat it was, I got a stab in the heart because I couldn't do anything. He was locked inside the boat," says Magnússon in an interview with mbl.is. He said that at first, he did not see the man, but he had been his good friend for forty years.

The police are currently investigating the cause of the accident, but it is suspected that the cargo ship Longdawn is connected to the capsizing of the boat. Photos of the Longdawn ship, which is in the harbor of Westman Islands, show recent damage.

Said that the boat had been hit

It was Magnússon who called for help and the Coast Guard's helicopter team was called out immediately, together with the sea rescue teams of the Rescue team Landsbjörg in Suðurnes, as well as nearby fishing vessels and boats were asked to head to the spot.

When Arnar called for help, he saw how his friend came from under the boat and out of the sea. He had managed to put on a life suit, but Magnússon said that a lot of sea had flowed into the suit. Magnússon therefore had to cut off the pants to be able to lift his friend into the boat.

Magnússon says it takes a lot to capsize a coastal …

Magnússon says it takes a lot to capsize a coastal boat like Hadda. Photo/Crew of Hannes Þ. Hafstein

Asked how the man felt at that point, Magnússon said he was cold. He adds that the man immediately stated that the boat had hit him hard before it capsized.

"I couldn't believe it because the weather was so good. It takes a lot to capsize a boat like this, it's five tons, but the freighter had already passed by," he says.

Went back out to fish after the rescue

When asked, Magnússon says that the cargo ship had gone further west when he reached the premises, but he and his friend had left together from the pier in Sandgerði at around two o'clock, and Magnússon says that Hadda was about four miles ahead of him. This all happened very quickly.

Asked how he thinks the accident happened, he says it's likely that Hadda's and Longdawn's shipping routes overlapped. "There is usually a radar in such large ships and they usually call for nearby ships," he says, adding that it probably wasn't done this time.

He says it's wonderful that it didn't get worse and thanks a higher power, among other things, for that. He says, however, that the boat Hadda is in bad shape.

"I wouldn't have gone back fishing if it had gone differently. You get paid when you do a good deed," he finally says to a journalist, but he went back to fishing when he had taken his friend to the harbor in Sandgerði.

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