Iceland Mag

6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Yet again foreign travellers toy with death at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, venturing out onto unsafe ice

By Staff

  • A supremely stupid idea It is NEVER safe to venture out onto the Ice on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon: The ice is constantly on the move since the lagoon experiences tidal effects. The ice can therefore break up at a moments notice. Rescue operations in those conditions are almost impossible. Photo/Police in South Iceland.

Police in South Iceland stopped and interviewed four foreign travellers at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon on Sunday. The four were a part of a group of 15-20 travellers who had walked out onto ice floats which had drifted to the shore near the parking lot. According to police the ice was extremely unsafe, and had any of the travellers fallen in it would have been virtually impossible to rescue them.

Read more: Photos, video: A large Group of people wander onto ice floats on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon: “a ticking time bomb”

According to the police in South Iceland the group was in great danger, as the ice on the lagoon is far from safe. Small ice floats and ice packs had drifted to the south-east shore of the lagoon, pushed there by northerly winds in the past few days. However, the ice was not frozen solid, and according got the police it was constantly moving about.

The lagoon experiences tidal effects, as water flows in and out of the lagoon with the tides, creating a strong current which carries ice floats out to sea. This means that even during winter, when the surface of the lagoon freezes, forming a solid ice cover, the ice is dangerous since it can easily break apart and float out to sea. The conditions on Sunday were even more serious. Large and constantly shifting holes and rifts in the ice could easily have swallowed and trapped anyone falling in.

Read more: Police, ICE-SAR looking into how to save travellers who refuse to heed warnings in Reynisfjara beach

According to a post on the Facebook page of the Police in South Iceland most of the travellers had already come ashore when officers arrived on the scene, but the four who were still out on the ice were stopped and given a stern talking to by the officers. The police has asked the public to attempt to stop anyone seen walking out onto the ice and to report incidences like this to the police.


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