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Onlooker captures the shocking moment people got swept away by 'deadly sneaker waves' at a beach: 'That could have been much worse'

"The person who stumbled could have been in trouble had she been alone."

“The person who stumbled could have been in trouble had she been alone."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Cautionary signs are erected for a reason. One couple recently learned that lesson the hard way.

A video shared in the subreddit r/WhatCouldGoWrong reveals what happens "if you don't follow the guidelines at a dangerous beach in Iceland." In the video, a man and woman walk hand in hand down Reynisfjara Beach, located just outside Vík í Mýrdal in South Iceland.

The couple poses for a photo in front of a gray, temperamental ocean. Immediately, a wave races up the shore and sweeps them off their feet. No one appears harmed, and the beachgoers run away laughing.

The original poster followed up with a photo of a sign erected at that same beach, which reads "DANGER" in capital letters in both Icelandic and English.

The sign warns tourists to stay out of the "danger zone," or the shoreline, to keep from being swept away by "deadly sneaker waves." The sign also warns of a "recent tourist death."

Photo Credit: Reddit

That recent tourist death took place the previous year when a Canadian man and his wife were swept out to sea. Their tour guide dragged the wife to safety but was not able to help her husband, who struggled in the ocean for over an hour. By the time the coast guard reached him, he was dead.

Deaths such as these are why Reynisfjara is colloquially dubbed "Iceland's most dangerous beach," and why tourists who choose to ignore warning signs are dubbed "tourons."

Climate awareness begins with respect for nature. Increased wildlife-human interactions should lead to the desire to protect our natural world, not abuse it.

The entitlement of reckless Icelandic beachgoers, national park visitors, and social media influencers who would do anything for clickbait implies an exploitative relationship with the natural world and inhibits the connection other individuals experience with nature.

Watching these events unfold is stressful for both wildlife and bystanders, as well as park rangers whose job it is to protect the ecosystem. These incidents also endanger wildlife, as animals that injure humans, provoked or unprovoked, may be euthanized.

Redditors pointed out that the couple is fortunate to be unharmed. "Lucky they just got a little wet," one commenter said. "That could have been much worse."

"The person who stumbled could have been in trouble had she been alone," agreed another. "Read the signs and obey them; don't be idiots."

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