SEMRA attend to five casualties in two mountain rescue call outs

South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) were called by An Garda Síochána to an incident above Kilclooney Woods, Co. Waterford. (Picture: John Foley)

South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) were called by An Garda Síochána to an incident above Kilclooney Woods, Co. Waterford, on Saturday, July 15.

The team initiated a full team call out at 11.40am to assist an injured male walker who was with a group making their way to Coumshingaun Lake. The walker had sustained a lower leg injury. Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117 were also tasked to the scene.

A number of scouts in the area helped to identify the location of the incident to Rescue 117 when they arrived at the location. Three SEMRA team members then arrived and managed the hi-line for Rescue 117 as the injured walker was winched into the helicopter, who was then transported to University Hospital Waterford.

Just after the helicopter had departed for University Hospital Waterford, SEMRA received a second call from An Garda Síochána to another incident which happened near the lower lake at Coumshingaun, a few hundred metres from the first incident. SEMRA team members, who had responded to the first incident, made their way uphill and arrived at the second occurrence within a few minutes.

A male member of a scouting group had been injured after a relatively simple fall. He sustained a lower leg injury and a minor head injury. A female scout then slipped and injured her back while going to the assistance of the first casualty.

Subsequent to that another male scout tripped while walking away from the scene and sustained an arm injury. All casualties were assessed and treated by the SEMRA team doctor on scene. Rescue 117 returned and airlifted the female teenage scout to University Hospital Waterford. SEMRA evacuated the second casualty by stretcher off the mountain. The third injured scout was able to walk and SEMRA assisted him off the mountain.


“The scouting group were very well equipped and had several adult leaders with the group,” a SEMRA spokesperson said.

“They managed each incident very competently before SEMRA members arrived, drawing on their scouting skills including first aid training. One of the scout leaders described it as ‘a series of unfortunate events’.

“We understand that two of the scouting casualties were quickly discharged from hospital and we wish the third casualty a speedy recovery,” a SEMRA spokesperson added.

Another walker who was on the hill on the day in a separate group had fallen and received a head injury. His group stopped at SEMRA incident base where he was assessed and treated by the SEMRA team doctor on site. The operation concluded at 4.45pm.


Locally, on Saturday, June 25 last, SEMRA assisted two walkers who were suffering from dehydration and cramping at O’Loughlin’s Castle in the Galtee Mountains before the injured parties were airlifted by the Coast Guard helicopter. While earlier in the month the team responded to a call for missing persons in the Galtee Mountains, but were subsequently stood down when the missing walkers were reunited with their party.

SEMRA typically respond to about 20 call-outs per year, with the majority of the calls in the Galtee and Comeragh mountains. The group celebrate 40 years of operations this year, having been founded back in 1977.