The man and woman had strayed into the Glen of Imaal Artillery range operated by the Defence Forces. Using their smartphone they were able to provide a Latitude/Longitude coordinates to the Rescue Services who were then able to pinpoint them exactly. They were descending from Lugnaquillia and had become disoriented in the low visibility due to the rain and wind.
Last night, Saturday 16th July 2011 at 7.30pm, almost exactly the same situation occurred when seven walkers, mainly from Northern Ireland, became lost on Leinster’s highest peak (Lugnaquillia – 925m) and strayed into the artillery impact zone. In this instance four of the seven walked through the firing zone and alerted the Army and Mountain Rescue of the plight of their three friends who remained in the danger zone. They attempted to use their Blackberry to provide a map reference, but were unable. The Rescue teams located them near Leoh mountain.
Thankfully in both cases, nobody was injured and the Army were not firing. It is believed that neither groups had maps or compasses to assist them in navigation. We would ask anyone travelling in the mountains to carry reliable navigation equipment and know how to use it. Anyone finding themselves in the Artillery range unexpectedly should remain where they are and call for assistance – Dial 999 or 112 and ask for ‘Mountain Rescue’.
Thank you to both Mountain Rescue Teams and particularly to the Defence Forces in the Glen of Imaal.