Inga Fanney, co-owner of Aurora Arktika and mountain running guide tells her story from last summer:
“I promised to share my experience with the local Search and Rescue Teams (SAR) here. Last August I was guiding a running trip in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, like I often do. One evening when going to my cabin, I suddenly started bleeding heavily. I was not expecting it at that time of the month, but quickly there was blood everywhere and I couldn’t stand. At this point of the trip the boat was located in Hornvík, one of the most remote regions in all of Iceland. We knew I needed medical assistance, so we started sailing towards Ísafjörður. Luckily the coast guard ship Baldur was in the same bay. The crew (and guests) helped move me to the ship from Aurora, since Baldur could go faster. The local rescue teams in Ísafjörður and the surrounding area were called out and started heading towards us on their rescue boat Gísli, which can go much faster than the other boats. I don’t remember everything that was going on, but since I was losing a lot of blood and was in and out of consciousness, the captain decided to call out the helicopter. Shortly after the rescue boat from Ísafjörður reached us, the helicopter arrived. The first guy descended from the helicopter with the doctor to check my vitals. It was a typical experience in Iceland that I heard, “Is this you Inga Fanney?!” from the doctor, who I knew because he is the brother of one of my best friends. The rescue team tied me to the stretchers and started to hoist me up to the helicopter. I admit, it was a bit scary.
On the helicopter, I was given some medicine to reduce the bleeding, and we landed in Reykjavík after one hour. An ambulance brought me to the Hospital where I had a surgery and was very well taken care of throughout the whole process.
This was a strange experience, but it is so good to know that even in the remotest part of the island, there is still a highly functioning search and rescue system that can succeed.
The local rescue teams and the ship and helicopter from the Icelandic Coast Guard saved my life, as well as the doctors at the Hospital in Reykjavík, and of course the Hospital in Ísafjörður with the follow up appointments.
I can’t say it too many times, but: THANK YOU to all of you people that I don’t know that saved my life. I want to give back to you, and I hope that if many people help out, we can raise enough funding to help you train future rescuers in the area.”
If you want to donate to the local rescue teams in the area: