Disoriented tourists found safe and well

Disoriented tourists found safe and well


File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

A search for two tourists who reported themselves lost in Co Clare this afternoon has been stood down after they were found safe.

The couple in their 20s, believed to be from Austria, had been hiking at Cahermaclancy off the coast road between Doolin and Lisdoonvarna.

It’s understood the couple had gone to the area earlier this afternoon but raised the alarm at around 5.00pm after they had become disoriented and darkness fell.

A search involving Gardaí and members of the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was quickly mounted however it wasn’t immediately clear where exactly the hikers were.

The pair were able to raise the alarm themselves and provided a location to search teams using maps on their mobile phone. However, the coordinates initially provided to crews wasn’t entirely accurate. It did however give Gardaí and Coast Guard volunteers a rough idea of where the lost hikers might be.

Search teams proceeded to an area about 4 kilometres north of Doolin. On arrival, Gardaí and Coast Guard teams made contact with the pair by mobile phone but they still could not tell them where they were.

A Coast Guard member discharged an illumination flare to light up the area and see whether the lost hikers could see it. The pair confirmed that they saw the flare and could tell rescuers from which direction they had observed it.

Using this information, Coast Guard personnel were able to make their way through thick undergrowth and across treacherous terrain to reach the couple.

The lost hikers were escorted back to the main road and after being assessed by Coast Guard first responders, were found to be uninjured and not in need of medical assistance. The pair were transported back to their B&B accommodation by Coast Guard personnel and the search operation was stood down at around 7.00pm.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.