independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Climbers saved from hypothermia

WEEKEND RESCUES ON LUGNAQUILLA

TWO MEN had to be treated for the onset of hypothermia on Saturday after becoming lost on the highest mountain in Wicklow, Lugnaquilla.

It marked a busy weekend for Wicklow's Mountain Rescue Crews who also had to assist another man down from Lugnaquilla on Sunday.

The two men rescued on Saturday had become disorientated in the snow and poor visibility as they tried to descend the mountain. A third member of the party managed to reach the Glenmalure Lodge and raise the alarm at around 5.45 p.m.. Mountain Rescue members were soon dispatched to the Fraughan Rock Glen where the three walkers had initially began their hike.

The two missing Irish men were found at 7 p.m. suffering from the early stage of hypothermia as they had remained static in sub-zero temperatures above Benelagh cliffs for several hours. Everyone was safely off the hill by 9 p.m., though the weather conditions meant the descend took a considerable amount of time.

On Sunday, Mountain Rescue personnel had to spring back into action again after an experienced walker in his 50s also became disorientated attempting to descend Lugnaquilla in an attempt to get to Baravore carpark in Glenmalure.

Rescue crews were dispatched at 3.30 p.m. and the technological application SARLOC was used to trace his location. The app enabled the teams to use a smartphone to pinpoint his whereabouts and provide a grid reference. Members of the mountain rescue teams made their way to the man's location where they escorted him off the mountains.

A Mountain Rescue spokesperson has asked the public to ensure they prepare themselves properly when hiking in winter as conditions higher on the mountain can be deceptively harsh, with the snow line extending down to 500m in places.

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