Picnicking tourists rescued from iceberg

2013-05-27 11:55
The three American tourists having a peaceful picnic as their iceberg drifted further out to sea.

The three American tourists having a peaceful picnic as their iceberg drifted further out to sea. (ICE-SAR)

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Reykjavik - A group of American tourists on holiday in Iceland had to be rescued after the ice they decided to picnic on broke off and floated away.

Sky News reports that the five had erected a folding table and chairs and settled down to enjoy their lunch when the piece of ice they had chosen suddenly separated from the land. 

Fortunately one of the group managed to jump back to terra firma and went in search of help. 

The rest of the picnickers were left floating in the freezing seas around the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon for about an hour before the authorities could be alerted and rescuers arrived in a boat.

By the time a team from the Hornafjörður sea rescue arrived the tiny iceberg was 10 to 15 metres out into the lagoon.

The lagoon, which is connected to the sea by an inlet, is a lake about a mile wide at the end of the Vatnajökull glacier and is about 150 miles east of the capital Reykjavik.

Páll Sigurður Vignisson, a volunteer for ICE-SAR, told NBC News: "The ice was solid when they got there, but when they set the table and chairs the wind changed and the next minute they were blown some 10-15 metres into the lagoon.

"The scene was comical-they were sitting on the chairs around a table, on a piece of floating ice.

When Vignisson first reached the group he said the tourists were, "not at all scared, pretty calm, laughing and joking about the whole thing, despite that they had been stuck floating for about an hour.

The police were called, but they decided not to press charges after speaking to the group.

Read more on:    travel international

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