Seven rescued from Ireland’s highest mountain overnight

Snow on Carrauntoohil creates difficulties for descending hikers

A rescue team came across a woman in her late 30s in difficulty, after she had suffered what was described as a bad head gash.

A rescue team came across a woman in her late 30s in difficulty, after she had suffered what was described as a bad head gash.

 

Anne Lucey and Lorna Siggins

Seven people had to be rescued from Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest peak, in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks near Killarney overnight.

One of them was a 38-year-old woman with a head wound, discovered “by pure accident” by a mountain rescue team which was leading a group of six to safety.

A group of three men and three women had summoned help at around 6pm after getting into difficulty on the way down the mountain.

The group had set out at around 11am, and had reached the summit of Carrauntoohil but could not manage the descent.

Wind, snow and extremely wet and cold conditions in the dark made the descent at the top of the descent routes challenging, a spokesman for Kerry Mountain Rescue said. Some 22 of the rescue team were involved in the operation.

The six were reached at 8pm and given warm clothing, food and drinks.

Ropes were used to protect the men and women while helping them down from the mountain using the Devil’s Ladder route.

In the separate incident, while walking the group down the Devil’s Ladder, the rescue team came across the woman in difficulty, after she had suffered what was described as a bad head gash.

A spokesman for Valentia Coastguard said the rescue party, which was attending to the other six people, came across the woman on the Devil’s Ladder “by pure accident” at around 10.30pm.

The woman, who is not Irish, was on her own. They were concerned about her head wound. They called Valentia to arrange an ambulance at Kissane’s Shop at the rear of the mountain.

It is understood the woman was able to walk.

Mountains in Kerry remained snow-capped on Sunday and while there are milder conditions than on Saturday, the mountains remain extremely wet underfoot.

Meanwhile, a man who got into difficulty in Galway Bay on Sunday after his dinghy capsized has been rescued by Galway RNLI’s inshore lifeboat.

The alert was raised shortly before 1pm on Sunday, when a member of the public noticed that the man was attempting unsuccessfully to right the five-metre-long dinghy off Hare island.

The inshore lifeboat located the man as he was swimming towards shore. He was described as cold and shaken and received first aid at the station. However, he recovered a short time later and did not require hospitalisation.

The dinghy was retrieved by the volunteer lifeboat crew - Dave Oliver, John O’Sullivan, Ros Forde and Kenneth Kitterick.

Deputy launch authority Barry Heskin advised members of the public to dress adequately for the weather conditions and to notify a family member or friends of expected time of arrival when engaged in an outdoor activity.