Tourist is rescued in waterfall drama as copter called in
A BELGIAN tourist was rescued in a dramatic helicopter mission after he fell over the edge at the Glenmacnass Waterfall viewing point.
A passer-by in the Wicklow Mountains alerted emergency services at around 2pm on Monday.
The tourist spot is well-known to rescue teams as a danger area for serious or fatal injuries.
Eight members of the Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team had just stepped off the lunchtime ferry on their return from Yorkshire when the alarm was raised.
The volunteers had been in Britain helping out at the Tour de France Grand Depart over the weekend.
They made their way straight to the scene of the accident and were joined by six other mountain rescuers.
A member of the team, who was the first to reach the distressed man, took steps to ensure he did not fall any farther down the steep incline.
When secured, the man who is in his mid-forties was then treated at the scene for head, neck and spinal injuries.
Mountain rescue personnel splintered the tourist from the neck down to minimise the extent of his injuries.
He had clear wounds to his head and face but was responsive as medics and volunteers tended to him.
"It's a huge drop from where he fell and we were concerned that his injuries may have been life threatening," Gen Ward of the Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue team told the Herald.
"The problem with where he fell is that with the water gushing down hypothermia is a very real risk."
The coastguard immediately dispatched the Rescue 116 helicopter from Dublin when the distress call was sounded.
The tourist was dramatically winched from his position on the waterfall and flown to Tallaght Hospital.
The man had four teenagers with him at the time and gardaí at the scene were tasked with ensuring their safety as he was transferred to hospital.