Monday 5 December 2016

Little boy gets stuck on top of massive boulder he climbed up on in the Burren

Pat Flynn

Published 21/04/2015 | 08:45

Members of the Doolin and Kilkee units of the Irish Coast Guard rescue a 6-year-old boy who got stuck on top of this 4m high boulder in the Burren. The boys mother flagged down a passing bus to raise the alarm. Photo: Caitr?ona Lucas, Doolin Coast Guard
Members of the Doolin and Kilkee units of the Irish Coast Guard rescue a 6-year-old boy who got stuck on top of this 4m high boulder in the Burren. The boys mother flagged down a passing bus to raise the alarm. Photo: Caitr?ona Lucas, Doolin Coast Guard

A frantic mother flagged down a passing tour bus after her son became trapped atop a 4m (13ft) boulder in the Burren yesterday.

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The child had climbed on top of the massive rock but was unable to climb down. The incident happened at around 4.30pm at Ballyreen on the coast road between Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan Co Clare.

The area is popular with abseilers and rock climbers while large stand-alone rocks, that are spread across the karst landscape, are used for a past-time called bouldering.

The young boy had been visiting family in Kinvara from Manchester in England and was accompanied by his mother and a sibling.

The child climbed up the side of the massive boulder but couldn't get down again while his mother was unable to reach him.

After spending some time trying to get down, the child’s mother ran to the nearby road and flagged down a passing tour bus.

The driver alerted the Irish Coast Guard and the Doolin unit of the volunteer service was requested to attend the incident. They were accompanied by members from the Kilkee unit who had been on a station visit at the time.

Two volunteers climb up onto the boulder and secured the child in a harness before lowering him to safety. The child, who was unharmed, was reunited with his family.

The Coast Guard has responded to several rock climbing incidents in the same area in recent years. The cliffs at Ballyreen and nearby Ailladee are particularly popular locations for amateur and experienced climbers.

In August 2013, a rock climber sustained serious back injuries when he fell more than 20ft (6m) from a cliff there.

In July 2011, a 45-year-old man was seriously injured after he fell up to 5 (16ft) from a cliff at the same location.

The area is also used as a training ground by Irish Coast Guard, Irish Army and other groups.

Also in 2011, an Irish army sergeant was injured when he fell from rocks at Ballyreen. He fell almost 20 feet while he was assessing other climbing instructors.

In August 2010, a 64-year-old Scottish climber cheated death after he fell 30ft (9m) and was only saved by his safety harness.

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