Christmas Rescues (25/12/09)

The Gardai spent many hours in the early hours of Christmas morning attempting to get assistance to a couple stranded at the remote Featherbeds area of the Dublin/ Wicklow Mountains. Despite the numerous alerts on the radio and television, the couple went for a drive on Christmas Eve in the mountains; which last night experienced sub-zero temperatures. The driver found himself stranded when he managed to burn out the clutch on his car attempting to deal with the icy roads.

At 4:15am Gardai put a call out to the Glen of Imaal and Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Teams. The Team Leader of the Glen of Imaal Rescue Team spent some time on the phone trying to get a recovery vehicle to go to the couple, as vehicle recovery is not the remit of Mountain Rescue Teams. When it became apparent that no-one was able to assist, 2 Mountain Rescue 4×4’s were dispatched and Team members, who left their families on Christmas morning, recovered the couple who had been in their car for almost 6 hours in sub-zero temperatures and drove them to where they could get a taxi home.

Later that evening, a member of the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Teams came upon a multi car collision near Aughavannagh. In total there were eight cars and nine people stranded, including an injured female and an elderely man in need of attention. The Gardai were alerted and requested the assistance of the Glen of Imaal and Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Teams. Other emergency services were also dispatched to the scene but could not reach the location because of the hazardous driving conditions. As the services could not get to the scene, the Mountain Rescue member on scene provided first aid assistance and then evacuated some of those in need of assistance, approx 2km to the awaiting ambulance and Mountain Rescue vehicle. Other Mountain Rescue personnel then assisted with 2 other groups of people who needed to be evacuated.

Mountain Rescue remind motorists to listen to weather warnings and AA advice on the radio. Should assistance be required Mountain Rescue Teams will help stranded people but will not recover vehicles.