Two walkers stray into Glen of Imaal artillery range
TWO walkers diced with death on Saturday evening after accidentally wandering onto the Glen of Imaal artillery range.
The artillery range is an active military site and the area is considered hazardous even when live firing isn’t taking place.
The Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team and the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team were both tasked by An Garda Síochána to assist the two walkers at 7.53 p.m. on Saturday evening.
Having realised they had strayed into the military zone, the two walkers immediately contacted the gardaí, who in turn issued a call-out to Wicklow’s two mountain rescue teams.
A mountain rescue spokesperson praised the walkers for their quick-thinking.
‘The pair made the right decision to call for assistance. The artillery range is extremely dangerous, even when live firing isn’t taking place, because of unexploded ordinates and artillery shells. It’s a place to be avoided. Fortunately, the two walkers made the correct decision once they realised they were somewhere they shouldn’t have been’.
Mountain rescue personnel contacted the Defence Forces and waited so they could be safely escorted onto the firing range by members of the Irish Army. The walkers’ position was confirmed using the app device Sarloc. Mountain rescue and Defence Forces personnel walked to the incident site and accompanied the walkers to safety. The incident was stood down at 9.37 p.m.
The range has two routes through it which are safe to use: Table Track and the route over Camara Hill. For safety, hillwalkers should only use these routes to cross the range.
In April 1979, three people were killed after a group of teenagers taking part in an orienteering event wandered onto the range and triggered an explosive device.