Wednesday 28 September 2016

Driver's tight squeeze on path leaves him stuck for night 200ft above sea

Published 10/08/2016 | 16:21

The car was wedged on a walkway used by ferry passengers (Blasket Islands Ferry/PA)
The car was wedged on a walkway used by ferry passengers (Blasket Islands Ferry/PA)

A motorist has crawled out of the boot of his hatchback after spending the night wedged between walls on a narrow path 200 feet above the sea.

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The unnamed man drove his car down the twisty, steep and narrow walkway used by ferry passengers making their way from Dunquin to the Blasket Islands off Co Kerry in Ireland.

It is believed he spent the night in the car after getting stuck at about 9pm on Tuesday.

He was not freed until some of the staff from Blasket Islands Ferry took the keys off him, opened the boot and helped him to crawl out at about 8.30am the following morning.

Sibeal Ni Lubhaing, of the ferry company, said her colleagues discovered him when they went to the pier.

"He wanted to go on a little adventure, we think. He was saying he wanted to camp for the night," she said.

"He had great dreams of camping out beside the pier.

"But it all went horribly wrong - he's world famous now at this stage.

"I think it was quite innocent. He just chanced his luck. He was terribly embarrassed about the whole thing."

Known by some locals as Sheep's Walk, the precipitous path to the Dunquin pier is famous for a picture postcard image of sheep winding their way uphill after being taken off the islands by ferry.

But it is also a notorious accident spot with drivers routinely getting stuck after edging downhill only to find the pedestrian route is too narrow and then burning out their clutch trying to reverse back up.

It has also become a popular spot for daredevil downhill mountain bikers.

The top of the walkway is posted with numerous signs warning of the dangers and that it is inaccessible for cars.

Kerry County Council and local gardai were called to the scene when the man was found.

A Bobcat loader was brought in to tow the car up the path and several sailings of the ferry to the islands had to been cancelled leaving hundreds of tourists and visitors high and dry.

The clutch on the car was burnt out but Ms Ni Lubhaing praised the rescue team who added little to the dents and scrapes caused by the downhill drive.

She said: "When our guys were talking to the man he was saying that he would climb out the window. But it is a sheer drop on either side there where his car was jammed.

"He had gone two thirds of the way down the pathway. It's amazing that he got that far."

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