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Call for extra warning signs along Atlantic Drive

Call for extra warning signs along Atlantic Drive

Anton McNulty

Achill Coast Guard has called for more signs along the Atlantic Drive on Achill to warn of the dangers of going too close to the cliffs’ edge. The call was made after a 23-year-old Finnish student lost his life after he was swept into the sea on Thursday last.
Warning signs along the Atlantic Drive were erected following the death of a Polish man who fell into the sea in 2005, but the latest tragedy could indicate the need for more.
A spokesperson for the Achill Coast Guard explained that many foreign nationals are fascinated by the ruggedness and ferocity of the sea off Achill, because they do not experience similar conditions in their homeland.
“We would be urging that extra caution signs are erected in different languages. A friend of the man who died last week told us that the sea is not like this in Finland, and that they were fascinated by the waves and wanted to get close to them.”
The spokesperson also highlighted the need for a public life ring. “We would also be calling for a life ring to be put up there … if one had been located there, this person may have been saved. His friends ran to a house looking for a rope but they could not help him,” the spokesperson said.
Local councillor Micheál McNamara explained that six signs are erected along the road near the Atlantic Drive warning of steep cliffs. He said the signs were erected following the previous tragedy, but he agrees that more signs are needed.
“We may have to look at this again in light of what happened to ensure this does not happen again. I will be making contact with Mayo County Council to arrange a meeting with the Coast Guard to identify the areas around the coast where warning signs are needed,” he said.