independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Careless parking puts lives at risk

BEACHGOERS are putting lives in jeopardy by carelessly parking their cars on beach access roads that are vital for north Kerry emergency units.

BEACHGOERS are putting lives in jeopardy by carelessly parking their cars on beach access roads that are vital for north Kerry emergency units.

The arrival of stunning weather brought people out in their thousands onto the beaches of the region over the weekend, but many simply abandoned cars as close to the sand as they could with no thought for the potential consequences.

In Ballybunion, cars were parked across the entrance to the Ladies' Beach over the weekend, completely blocking emergency personnel from getting vehicles down to their station on the beach.

The situation is as bad in Banna where heavy traffic is strangling access to the beach. Ambulances, the fire service and water emergency units would have been completely blocked from getting in or out in vehicles had the need arisen.

"It really is a matter of life and death if we can't access our station on the Ladies' Beach," Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue spokesman Omar Fitzell warned.

"We can get down on foot to get the boat out onto the water, but as for getting the boat out for deployment inland or on another part of the coast it would be impossible. Thousands are on the beaches and in the water, increasing the likelihood of an accident. If an ambulance had to get down to treat someone on the beach in Ballybunion over the weekend it would have been completely blocked, for instance," he said.

"On the Glen Road down to the Ladies' Beach the council have marked out parking very clearly and if people abided by it there would be no problem. But it seems people try to get as close to the beach as they possibly can," he added. "This is despite the fact there is ample space in car-parks just a few minutes' walk from the beaches."

Thankfully, the unit were not called out over the weekend, but with so many on the beaches it is only a matter of time before it needed in an emergency.

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