GROUP ENTERED LIVE FIRE DANGER ZONE
FIVE hill walkers had a lucky escape days after Christmas when they wandered on to the highly dangerous army impact zone in the Glen of Imaal.
Using custom built mountain rescue GPS location software SARLOC, members of Wicklow’s mountain rescue team realised the lost walkers were in fact in the impact zone before they did.
A combination of rescue personnel and members of the irish army managed to safely remove them from the danger zone.
The experienced walking group, consisting of three men and two women, set off from the Glenmalure Youth Hostel on Thursday morning.
After reaching the summit of Lugnaquilla they became disorientated in the fading light as they attempted to descend toward the Glen of Imaal.
As a result they weren’t aware they had strayed into the Army Training Area.
Realising they were lost, one of the group contacted mountain rescue to request help at around 4.50 p.m.
The impact zone is a live firing range that is used by the army on a regular basis and has been in use since the early 1900’s.
Members of the army were dispatched from the Army Warden Range at Seskin School on all-terrain vehicles and liaised with Mountain Rescue to get to the location of the walkers.
They were found safe from harm at 7 p.m. and were guided off the hill by 8 p.m.. They were then transported back to the Glenmalure Hostel by Mountain Rescue members.
A rescue spokesperson said, ‘ they were all a little embarrassed but thankfully none of them were injured.’
Meanwhile, a 68 year old woman had to be airlifted from the ‘Spink’ in Glendalough after suffering a leg injury while enjoying a walk on Saturday.
The Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue and Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue teams were requested to come to her aid at 12.16 p.m..
The woman had been out walking with family members when she slipped and sustained a lower leg injury as the group was descending towards Gleneala Bridge.
The Irish Coastguard helicopter was also sent out to assist with the rescue.
Mountain rescue personnel and the coastguard winchman treated the woman for her injuries and packaged her into a stretcher. She was moved a short distance to a suitable location to enable her to be airlifted to Tallaght Hospital where she received further treatment.
A file picture of the army in the live fire zone.