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Casualties rescued off Achill mountain ‘lucky to be alive’


Anton McNulty

TWO people who were rescued off an Achill mountain after they became disoriented in heavy fog last Friday night would not have survived the night had they not been located, according to the local coastguard unit.
The incident occurred at approximately 7.30pm on Friday, December 22, when two people who were climbing Croaghan Mountain, got lost in heavy fog and could not find their way down. The weather conditions on the night were poor with driving rain, heavy fog and high winds. The Achill Island Coast Guard along with Mayo Mountain Rescue were tasked to rescue the two people but they couldn’t identify their location and the search was spread over a 10km area from the Silver Strand in Dugort to Annagh Head.
The rescue team had sporadic mobile phone contact with the casualties and white parachute flares were used to try to locate them.  Members of Mayo Mountain Rescue were dispatched in the pitch black and fog in an attempt to bring the two to safety. The rescue teams eventually located the pair around midnight - four and a half hours after the alarm was raised. They were led to safety and checked over by an ambulance team but did not suffer any major injuries. The Achill Island Coast Guard unit stated that given the weather conditions on the night, the two casualties would not have survived the night on the mountain, had they not been located and that they were ‘lucky to be alive’.


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