Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, 103,000 km2 in size. The population is 300,000. The landscape is magnificent, with spectacular wilderness and the largest glaciers in Europe. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, extreme weather and snow avalanches are part of what Icelanders have to deal with. Unlike most countries, there is no army in Iceland, and the Icelandic Coast Guard is small, with only a few ships and aircrafts.
The origins of ICE-SAR can be traced to 1918, when the Westman Island Rescue Team (Björgunarfélag Vestmannaeyja) was established.
The first rescue ship; the first rescue helicopter; pioneers in traffic safety matters; the Ships Reporting Duty; the Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre; these are only a few of the accomplishments that ICE-SAR and its parent associations have achieved – for the benefit of all Icelanders.