Two walk­ers stray into Glen of Imaal ar­tillery range

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

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.

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