FIVE EXPERIENCED HILL walkers found themselves disorientated in the Glen of Imaal today – and wandered into the Irish Army training area by accident.
At 14.50pm today, an Garda Síochána requested help from the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and the Glen of Imaal Irish Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team for a group of five hill walkers in the Glen of Imaal, Co Wicklow.
The group of five (three males and two females) experienced walkers had started from the carpark of the Glenmalure Youth Hostel where they are believed to have parked their car before beginning the hike. However after they reached the summit of Lugnaquilla, they became disorientated in the fading light and wrongly descended towards the Glen of Imaal. There, they strayed into the impact zone of the Irish Army Training Area.
When they realised they were lost, they contacted mountain rescue to request their help. They were located using their smart phone in conjunction with SARLOC, the custom-built mountain rescue GPS location software.
It was only when the group were located using SARLOC that the rescue team realised they were in the impact zone.
The impact zone is a live firing range that is used by the army on a regular basis and has been in use since the early 1900’s. Caution is advised to all walkers who enter this restricted area, particularly as there are a number of unexploded ordinates there, said Mountain Rescue.
Members of the Irish army were dispatched from the Army Warden Range at Seskin School on all-terrain vehicles and liaised with Mountain Rescue to get to the location of the walkers. The located the walkers at 7pm and guided them out to safety. All were off the hill by 8pm and transported back to their car by MR personnel.
“Although a little embarrassed, none of the group of five were injured,” said Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team, who thanked all involved including the Gardaí and the Irish army.