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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A rescue in Northern Ireland

This news from Ballymoney of Northern Ireland reports an American tourist being hit by a wave and rescued:
AN American tourist was rescued at the Giant's Causeway on Sunday evening by Ambulance and Coastguard personnel.

The incident began shortly after 7pm when the Coastguard received a request for assistance from the Ambulance Service.

A 24-year-old man had been injured after being hit by a wave.

As the light faded, rescuers rushed to the injured man’s assitance and he was quickly located on the Causeway stones. Ambulance paramedics managed to move the man further away from the water’s edge where waves up to eight feet in height were breaking on the rocks.

The paramedics were soon joined by a Coastguard Rescue Team from Coleraine and the delicate task of evacuating the man to safety began. He was placed in a Coastguard stretcher and carried across the columns to the waiting ambulance.

Coastguard Station Officer Chris Little said: “This was a very challenging operation which called for close co-operation between Coastguard Rescue Officers and Ambulance Paramedics.

“The very uneven surface of the columns, made treacherous by recent rain, meant that the evacuation had to be conducted with great caution. The fading light and growing swell also added to the difficulties faced by rescuers.

“We would urge all visitors to the Causeway to heed the warning signs and stay well back from the water’s edge. The darker rocks are particularly dangerous as they are likely to be covered by breaking waves.”
Not much details are available. It is at least comforting to know that the tourist was rescued by local coastguard and ambulance paramedics. Thank God for that. We just can not over emphasize the perils tourists face in far away places. I think the last comment by the Coastguard Station Officer, Mr. Little, should be used to advice every tourists wherever they are visiting, as:

We would urge all visitors . . . to heed the warning signs and stay well back from the water’s edge. The darker rocks are particularly dangerous as they are likely to be covered by breaking waves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were also hit by a freaque wave yesterday, 21st Sept, on the Giant's causeway! We weren't too close to the edge - I even thought I was being overcautious in staying as far away as I was. There were actually no signs erected to warn sightseers about the danger of freaque waves, only of the danger of falling rocks. There were two children very close by - luckily it was us rather than them who were swept up by the wave - we escaped with some bad bruises and cuts, but they would easily have been swept away. I had always assumed people who get caught up are tempting fate, straying too close to the edge, but be warned - freaque waves really do exist!