Due to lack of funding the ICC (Icelandic Coast Guard) is too ill equipped to respond to big scale accidents at sea.
According to the project manager for ICC, Auðunn Kristinsson, the organisation is “completely unprepared” for accidents of serious magnitude and serious investment is needed.
ICC only has a single rescue ship at sea at any given time, meaning that it could take up to 48 h for rescue to arrive, though the average life expectancy of travellers in lifeboats is just 24 hours. This means that risk of casualties is ever present and considerable.
A record number of cruise ships are expected in Icelandic waters in 2017, with 155 vessels set to dock in Reykjavík, with about 130,000 passengers. It is a considerable increase from 2016, when the number was 113 and about 100,000 passengers.