(eTN) A German tourist died Wednesday after plunging off the edge of Latrarbjargs sea cliff to a rocky beach more than 100 meters below. The man, who was accompanied by his wife, was photographing birds at the time.
“It was an accident waiting to happen,” said local tour operator Johann Svavarsson when approached by eTurboNews for comment. “More than 20,000 people of all ages and nationalities who visit the area must be warned about its dangers. It is necessary that the Environment Agency of Iceland supplies rangers in the area during the summer months.”
Ironically, one day earlier, a website — safetravel.is — was launched in Iceland with the aim of promoting safe travel in the country. The website provides foreign tourists and locals with good advice on how to stay out of harm’s way. Bicyclists, for example, get specific instructions on how to travel safely around the country.
“We think about safety every day and do our best to prevent accidents,” said Ursula Spitzbart of Reykjavik Bike Tours. “Although a guided bicycle tour of Reykjavik is not considered a high-risk activity, it is not immune to accidents.”
Professional tourist guides in Iceland have for some time called for attraction management and increased safety measures in the most popular tourist places in Iceland, such as Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall — visited by more than 500,000 people annually.
Latarbjarg is the westernmost part of Europe and is one of the world‘s greatest bird cliffs. It is 14 km long and 441 meters at its highest point. Nesting birds include the puffin, razorbill, Brunnich guillemot, kittiwake, and fulmar.