Monday 19 March 2018

Three rescued after man plunges 45ft – pulling his climbing partners with him

Luggala, Co Wicklow
Luggala, Co Wicklow
Helicopter taking first casualty away
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A CLIMBER plunged 45ft down a mountain, dragging two climbing partners behind him – prompting a daring nine-hour rescue mission.

The three men were rescued following the heart-stopping incident on the cliffs of Luggala, Co Wicklow.

The first climber fell approximately 45ft down the mountain, his weight pulling his two climbing partners a certain distance as they were all attached to the same safety rope.

The man had slipped from the mountain just before the trio reached the mountain peak.

Mountain rescue teams embarked on the daring mission after the group raised the alarm on Saturday evening at approximately 5pm.

The climbers were not separated from the crag and remained secured to the mountain as rescuers responded to the scene.

The operation came to an end in the early hours of Sunday morning, at approximately 2am.

The rescue situation was so complex that the Coast Guard helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ was called in to assist the Dublin/Wicklow and the Glen of Imaal rescue teams, according to a call out report.

Specialist equipment was flown to the scene and was initially used to secure the first two people who were closest to the mountain peak.

The wounded third climber, who was stuck on a ledge lower down, was accessed by mountain rescue experts who abseiled down in order to assess and treat the person’s injuries as best they could.   

The first climber was transferred by helicopter to hospital with a suspected spinal injury where he is reportedly still under medical supervision.

The second man could still walk and was accompanied to hospital by members of the medical team at the scene. His injuries were minor and he has since been released.

In addition to failing light and bad weather conditions, the location and injuries of the third member of the climbing group, hindered the final rescue stage.

He was eventually safely extracted from the mountain in the early hours of Sunday morning and taken to hospital by ambulance. 

It is understood that his current condition is critical but stable.

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