Two American tourists were dramatically rescued last night after they became trapped in flood waters in their rental car in North Clare.
The pair had been driving through the Burren National Park when, it appears, they took a wrong turn after being prompted by their satnav. They also ignored a ‘road flooded’ sign and barrier sure that they were going in the right direction but soon got into difficulty.
The drama began at around 7.30pm as the women were driving from the area of Mullaghmore Mountain back towards Ennis. It’s understood they were on their way to Dublin at the time.
After making the wrong turn, they drove through one flooded section of road at Ballinphunta without difficulty. However, a second flood proved impassable and their car soon became bogged down.
As the vehicle began to fill with water, the women opened the windows and sat out on the doors. They raised the alarm themselves by calling Gardaí who in turn alerted the fire brigade. The water was said to have been up to three feet deep where the car finally stopped.
Two units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Ennis station responded to a call of a car trapped in floodwaters with persons reported inside. The directions provided to emergency services were very vague however and it proved difficult for rescue crews to locate the car.
After locating the vehicle in an unlit section of country road, specially trained fire service swift-water rescue technicians (SRT) waded their way through the flood to reach the women. After checking the casualties were unharmed, SRTs gave the women lifejackets, got them onto a raft and hauled them to safety.
Fire crews then recovered the car from the flood and found that it had suffered water damage inside. A tow truck was called to remove the vehicle while Gardaí offered assistance by taking the women to Ennis to make arrangements for their onward journey.
A considerable number of roads remain flooded and impassable in the Burren area as well as other areas of Clare following recent prolonged rainfall.
Earlier in the day, a milk truck also got into difficulty at Ballycar, Newmarket on Fergus where the road has been left flooded to several feet. A truck recovery vehicle had to be brought in to tow the lorry clear of floodwaters.