Belfast Telegraph

Walker airlifted off mountain after St Stephen's Day call for help

A walker who set off to hike and camp on the MacGillycuddy Reeks on Christmas Day has been airlifted off the mountains.

The man was spotted edging his way down a snow covered ridge after he called for help late on St Stephen's Day.

Kerry Mountain Rescue said the man had been walking slowly in an area known as The Bone above the Hag's Glen when he was spotted.

He was winched off the mountain by the Shannon-based Rescue and brought to hospital.

The man set off on Christmas Day and is understood to have been well-equipped with a tent and other winter mountain hiking gear but he raised an alarm late the following day after his tent was damaged.

The man is understood to be European but rescuers said a language barrier made it difficult to confirm location and conditions before phone signals were traced to narrow down the search.

Alan Wallace, spokesman for Kerry Mountain Rescue, said there was deep snow and near zero visibility when weather closed in during the long search.

"He was walking when he was found, so that's good but we're not clear on his overall condition," he said.

"It is very cold, below freezing all day yesterday and a lot of snow.

"The conditions are for people who are experienced.

"It's about having the right equipment and being able to use it and to navigate."

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