Walk­ers rescued



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.

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