A 21-year-old man was airlifted to hospital yesterday after he dislocated his shoulder after falling on a treacherous cliff track in Co Clare.
The man had a lucky escaped when he lost his footing on a goat track that leads from the top of Aill Na Searrach near the Cliffs of Moher.
The Irish Coast Guard has often warned of the dangers to using the track to reach the cliff base as it’s hardly wide enough for a person to walk along and is unstable in places.
The alarm was raised at around 12.30pm after one of a group of four fell while they made their way down along the track.
It’s understood they were making their way to the base of the cliff so that they could view the massive waves. The area is world famous for Aileen’s Wave, only discovered in recent years, and which has attracted surfers from across the globe.
The group at the centre of yesterday’s drama is understood to have been mainly locals. They managed to raise the alarm using a mobile phone when one to them fell before reaching the base of the cliff.
The injured man suffered a dislocated shoulder in the fall but with the help of his pals managed to make his way back along the winding cliff face trail.
The Irish Coast Guard marine rescue coordination centre at Valentia Island in Kerry alerted the Doolin unit of the service as well as the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 1-1-5.
Coast Guard personnel made their way down the track to meet the group. A paramedic was also on standby to provide pain relief for the injured man.
With the aid of rescuers the group made their way to the cliff top from where the injured man was airlifted to Galway University Hospital.
Rescuers would not usually use the track to reach the cliff base as it’s considered too dangers.
The highly trained Doolin Coast Guard team have abseiled the 300 ft cliff several times in recent years to reach injured surfers or to recover bodies.
Yesterday’s incident happened at the same location where where two abseilers from Cork died in a rock fall in April 2000. A third person was seriously injured after a large section of the rock face gave way and crashed down on top of them.