Waterford County Civil Defence – Search & Rescue, May 2012

9 May 2012

Waterford County Civil Defence was activated on Thursday 3rd May to assist the Irish Coastguard Helicopter in a rescue operation of an injured walker from a local scenic area around the Mahon Falls area of the Comeragh Mountains.

A Waterford County Rescue Instructor was carrying out a site survey for a future search exercise that is being planned when he noticed the Irish Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 117 flying in and around the Mahon Falls area. The Rescue Helicopter flew over the Civil Defence vehicle at the main car park nearby and indicated that they were coming in to land. After landing, the Winchman approached the instructor informing him that they had a Crewperson at the base of the falls with an injured Lady. She was a member of a hiking party from New Ross and had a suspected fractured ankle. The Helicopter could not winch her up because of down-draft so close to the mountain side and asked if the Civil Defence 4×4 vehicle could be used to drive in help to recover the injured lady.

The Instructor had knowledge of the area and knew the path-way and how best to reach the injured lady. The Instructor and 4×4 vehicle proceeded down the path and met up with the stretcher party close to the falls and the Helicopter Crewman. Working together they helped load the injured Lady into the back of the 4X4 and made their way back to the waiting Helicopter. They then loaded the stretcher into the Rescue helicopter where they took off and headed for Waterford Regional Hospital.

The Rescue Helicopter crew were very thankful for the help and assistance of Civil Defence, as the walk would have taken 40 minutes or more before they could have reached the Helicopter. The help of Civil Defence meant they avoided loosing valuable time and fuel.