Iceland is a feral and unforgiving place. People see the warning signs everywhere, but rarely do they heed them.
"Never turn your back on the sea" sounds like the sort of thing one would find printed on mugs and t-shirts in the gift shops scattered across the island. Much as the tourists seems to think otherwise, this is something to be taken very seriously.
There are a million different ways to die in Iceland. The human ego is by far the most dangerous. When did we as a species decide that rules didn't apply to us?