A holidaymaker in his 60s has died after falling 20m into a stream while hiking in the mountains near Ireland’s largest waterfall on the Sligo-Leitrim border.
The man was walking in Glencar’s Devil’s Chimney area on Monday night when he fell.
Gardaí told Independent.ie that officers along with other responders “were involved in an operation after a man in his 60’s fell from the Devil’s Chimney in Glencar, Co Sligo last night.
“The man was found but later pronounced dead at the scene.”
After the man was reported missing around 7 p.m., a major search and rescue operation was launched.
The man, who is believed to be from the Galway area, was holidaying in the area with his wife when the accident happened. It is believed that he became disoriented while trying to walk down the mountain path.
Henry Doherty of the Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue (SLMR). Independent.ie: “We originally got the call at 7 p.m. to look for a missing man.
“He was coming back from the mountain and became disoriented. We found him about 500m from the track. It’s pretty easy to get lost in the mountains if you are unfamiliar or experienced in this environment.
“Some people’s perceptions can be different from the way they went up from the way they went down.”
Mr Doherty said it was possible the man “couldn’t find his way back” but “unfortunately he slipped and tragically fell about 20m.”
A local landowner helped the search and rescue team locate the man and Mr Doherty said this local knowledge was “key” to locating the man.
The information led to the team locating the man about 40 minutes after arriving at the scene.
“Unfortunately, the man had fallen into a creek,” said Mr. Doherty. “It was found at the bottom of a ravine and the creek had swollen due to bad weather.
“It was partially submerged in water. The team located him and after an initial examination it was found that he had a head injury and after falling in the creek he developed symptoms of hypothermia.
“It can affect vulnerable and elderly people or people with circulatory problems very badly. We don’t know how long he was in the water.”
The rescue operation involved 10 members of the Irish Coastguard’s Strandhill-based helicopter, the National Ambulance Service and the Gardai.
The Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 was also at the scene and paramedics performed CPR on the casualty.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to Sligo University Hospital and a coroner will rule on the cause of death.
Mr Doherty said the rescue team was upset at the loss of the man and offered their condolences to his family and loved ones.
He urged the general public to always exercise caution when setting off on a trek up a mountain due to the uncertainty of geographic and weather conditions.
“Make sure you prepare properly for the day,” he said. “The mountains are there to be enjoyed, but first check the weather and that you have appropriate footwear, clothing and enough food and water for the day and in case difficulties arise due to weather changes.
“It’s possible you’ll be out a lot longer than expected, so be prepared with food, water and clothing.
“Tell someone where you’re going, what time you expect to be back, and make sure your cell phone is fully charged to call 911 if you get into trouble.”
The Devil’s Chimney is a popular mountain hike that is a 130m climb. The waterfall is called Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird which means stream against the height. This refers to the appearance of the waterfall blowing upwards in certain weather conditions.
The walk is said to only take around an hour and is rated as ‘moderate’, according to SligoWalks.ie.
https://www.independent.ie/news/man-60s-dies-after-20-metre-fall-into-stream-at-devils-chimney-area-in-co-sligo-41884947.html A man, 60, dies after falling 20 meters into a stream in the Devil’s Chimney area of Co Sligo