Five people were rescued off the roof of a sinking SUV, Vísir reports. The vehicle went into the Fiská river, which is not far inland from the town of Hvolshvöllur in South Iceland, and was almost completely submerged when rescuers reached it. None of the people rescued were injured in the accident.
Three rescue teams, or twenty people total, were sent out from the towns of Hella, Hvolsvöllur, and Selfoss. Some of the individuals were specially trained in swift water rescue.
As Jón Hermannsson, a regional director for Search and Rescue in South Iceland, explained in an interview with mbl.is, the water level of the river has risen lately, leading it to overflow into the surrounding area. However, soil and mineral deposits in this area are often extracted for landfill and road-making projects, meaning that the ground around the river isn't completely solid. Jón thinks it’s likely, therefore, that the SUV unknowingly drove into the river at the site of one of these extraction projects, which would have been much deeper than it looked.
Images of the dramatic rescue can be seen on Vísir, here.