Belfast Telegraph

10 people rescued from Croagh Patrick as thousands turn out for annual climb

By Cillian Sherlock

A man who suffered a heart attack is among 10 people rescued from Croagh Patrick today as pilgrims turn out for the annual Reek Sunday climb.

Mayo Mountain Rescue has confirmed that they have had a dozen call-outs for injuries so far, including head and limb injuries, and a heart attack.

A man in his 70s was resuscitated with a defibrillator following a heart attack and airlifted to hospital.

Also among those injured is a 10-year-old boy with head and wrist injuries who was stretchered off the mountain and a 46-year-old man with serious upper body and facial injuries including a dislocated shoulder.

Mayo Mountain Rescue is working in conjunction with the Air Corps and Coast Guard.

Every year on the last Sunday of July, thousands of people flock to the west coast to complete the Reek Sunday pilgrimage to the peak of the mountain.

However, heavy rain and strong winds have made this year’s climb difficult and dangerous for some of the 20,000 climbers.

Mayo Mountain Rescue Public Relations Officer Iso Jorgensen said conditions towards the top of the mountain are treacherous and most injuries are happening on the return down.

Mayo Mountain Rescue have established an incident command centre and a medical tent for the event.

The team has issued safety warnings to climbers pertaining to the weather, mountain conditions and suitable footwear.

Most people are being mindful of the risks, according to Ms Jorgensen, but some climbers are attempting to summit the mountain in unsuitable footwear including flip-flops.

“Our job is to minimise serious injuries,” Ms Jorgensen said.

Rescue services expect to attend to further casualties as thousands more climbers travel up the mountain.

The rescue team also expressed their gratitude to teams from Galway, SEMRA, Sligo/Leitrim, Donegal, Dublin/Wicklow, Glen of Imaal, North West, Mournes and ICRO who are also operating today.

Irish Independent

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