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Tom Milligan
2010-12-03 22:35:38
SUV Drivers Beware!
SUV owners were today warned against having too much confidence in their vehicles in snow after five men were rescued from the Wicklow mountains.
Two 4x4 vehicles became trapped in snow on a road in the Wicklow mountains which resulted in two mountain rescue teams launching a mission in freezing temperatures to bring the occupants to safety. Five men were stranded in the snow for several hours after both vehicles became trapped in snow drifts in a steep ditch. The men were rescued just before midnight by the Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team and the Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team.

"We want to warn owners of four-wheel drive vehicles not to over-estimate their vehicles abilities in snow," said Hugh McLindon of the Glen of Imaal rescue team today. "Even four-by-fours can get swamped in snow drifts....Once the snow goes over axle height there is little can be done," he told the Herald. Despite warnings about the Sally Gap being impassable in the current cold snap, two young men based in Dublin went "for a spin" towards the Sally Gap in an SUV vehicle yesterday. In the area of the Lough Bray lakes, their vehicle slipped off the icy road into a steep snow-filled ditch around 4pm. They telephoned friends for help. Three young men travelled to the area in another SUV and attempted to pull their vehicle from the ditch. The second vehicle also slipped into the ditch and became trapped.

As temperatures continued to fall after dark, a rescue operation was mounted involving the two mountain rescue teams. The stranded men had sufficient quantities of fuel and were able to keep their engines running to keep heaters operating. The rescue teams used two Land Rovers to make their way slowly up treacherous icy slopes towards the stranded men. Shortly before midnight, when they got within 300m of the men, they told the men to make their way on foot to the rescue team. Ronan Mullen, Glen of Imaal Red Cross team leader on the mission, said: "The men were very grateful but very cold. The temperatures were around -7C and falling. The men were given a lift to Enniskerry where they were picked up."

Mr McLindon said: "The two men should have dialed the emergency services 999 or 112 and asked for Mountain Rescue when an assessment of their situation could have been carried out rather than calling inexperienced friends. We would advise drivers to call the emergency services as soon as possible in such situations."

All motorists were urged today to assess the necessity of making difficult journeys anywhere near the mountains during the present weather conditions.

aokeeffe@herald.ie
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Summit Comment
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Summit Comment
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Summit Comment
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Summit Comment
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 27 Next page >>