Laois Civil Defence – Search & Rescue – December 2011

12 December 2011

Shortly after 3am on Thursday 8th December 2011 Laois Civil Defence were activated to assist in a search for a missing Tullamore lady who was reported missing earlier in the day. Following Garda and family investigations of the woman’s whereabouts the lady’s car was found in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in a scenic area known as the Cut – a well known tourist area of the Mountain situated near the village of Clonaslee County Laois.

Garda Sergeant Tom Dully of Tullamore Garda Station called the Laois Civil Defence Officer, Liam Preston for assistance. Search teams and four wheel drive vehicles were activated to search forestry roadway and paths adjacent to the location of the woman’s car. Civil Defence Units across the county from Mountmellick, Stradbally and Durrow responded with over twenty Volunteers and five four wheel drive jeeps and a four wheel drive ambulance.

An area of about 2 klm was initially searched by foot and via road in deplorable weather conditions. Gale force winds and heavy rain hampered the search and at 6 am it was decided for safety reasons to temporarily stand down the search until first light.

Search teams returned to Mountmellick Civil Defence base to have refreshments and consult with Gardai on the next stage of the search. Garda and Coastguard helicopters were requested for first light and weather conditions would decide on their availability. At 7:30am, as weather conditions had improved, a ground search was resumed by the Gardaí and Civil Defence. At 8:45 am Civil Defence volunteers located the woman in a densely wooded area not too far from the Cut Car Park where her car had been originally located.

Civil Defence crews removed the lady to a nearby Civil Defence ambulance where initial treatment was given by the Civil Defence medic crew. She was then transferred to Portlaoise General Hospital by Garda Escort.

Laois Civil Defence is proud of the turnout of Volunteers at such an early hour, especially given the desperate weather conditions.