Lost rhododendron forest walkers are rescued

Cahir River Rescue boat crossing Bay Lough during the rescue operation.
Mountain rescuers assisted two hill walkers in their 50s off a treacherous area of steep ground overlooking Bay Lough in the Knockmealdowns Mountains near Clogheen on Sunday evening after they lost their way in dense rhododendron forest.

Mountain rescuers assisted two hill walkers in their 50s off a treacherous area of steep ground overlooking Bay Lough in the Knockmealdowns Mountains near Clogheen on Sunday evening after they lost their way in dense rhododendron forest.

South East Mountain Rescue spotters, who were able to make visual contact with the stranded couple, guided rescuers in by radio to where the walkers were located.

To avoid a risky and arduous trek back up the slopes of Knockshanahullion, Cahir River Rescue were called in around 7.30pm to help complete the last leg of the journey.

Five Cahir River Rescue volunteers transported the two hikers along with Mountain Rescue personnel across Bay Lough to safety.

SEMRA Team Leader Ray Bradfield said the two walkers were experienced and well equipped but were trying to make their way through terrain, which is no longer navigable due to the proliferation of rhododendron in that area. “A combined response from An Garda Siochana, Cahir River Search and Rescue, and Mountain Rescue was required due to the challenging nature of the terrain in this incident and all services played their part in ensuring a successful outcome,” he said.