Cliff-Scaling Icelanders to the Rescue -- As you gaze over Látrabjarg, think of December 12, 1947, when the British fishing trawler Dhoon ran aground 500m (1,640 ft.) from the base of the cliff, prompting the most famous and dramatic rescue of shipwrecked sailors in Iceland's history. No roads reached Látrabjarg in 1947, and it took the first rescuers several hours to walk to the cliff's edge in the dark with one pack horse. (In Dec, the Westfjords region has only 4 hr. of daylight.) When the sky lightened on the following day, twelve men descended the 120m (394 ft.) cliff by rope, while three remained on top to hold the rope fast. A rescue line was fired over to the boat, and all twelve British sailors were brought to land suspended on a flotation buoy. When darkness and the tide set in, only seven sailors and one rescuer had been hoisted up the cliff. The rest spent the night huddled together on a small outcrop. It took all the next day, in heavy winds and rain, to hoist up the remaining men, who then had to spend the night in tents near the clifftop. The next morning, they turned down the horses that were brought over to transport them -- after the 75-hour ordeal, they were too cold not to walk.
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