Expedition on the Black sand


Expedition on the Black sand

February 10, 2021

On January 31, 1903, the survivors of the crew of Friedrich Albert found their way to the farm Orustustaðir after 11 - day chase on the black sand of Skeiðarársandur. Nine of the twelve-man crew were still alive and finally, their lives were saved by Icelandic farmers.

We went on an adventurous expedition down to the stranded ship's location on January 31, 2021, exactly 118 years since the crew came to the shelter and were rescued. The day before, we flew over the sand to assess the conditions and whether it was safe to drive down to the beach. Experts assessed the rivers and waters on the sand where life-threatening quicksand can be hidden. Quicksand can absorb both people and vehicles.

The expedition was well equipped and drove c.a. 60km on difficult terrain. Due to difficult and dangerous conditions, we encountered various setbacks that can be considered insignificant compared to the shipwrecked men's experience.

The day before the expedition,  we flew over the shore and the sand to check if it was safe to drive 30 km to the shore.
We travelled through the vastness of the sand, where we had to cross glacial rivers and avoid quicksand that can swallow people and vehicles.
After driving about 20 km, the ice broke under the weight of the trucks and they got stuck in a flowing quicksand that was under the ice.
In the afternoon, after considerable repulsion, we faced this incredible view. This is the exact place where the ship stranded and the men started their 11-day journey in search for rescue.
The team which was in charge of the expedition. Among them, there were men who almost 30 years ago found Friedrich Albert deep in the sand when they were searching for the treasure of a so-called gold ship that ran aground in 1667.

Published on:

February 10, 2021

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