Tourists rescued from rhododendron forest in Killarney


Rhododendron plants in full bloom
Image caption Some rhododendron plants can grow taller than 25ft (8m) if they are not controlled

Air, mountain and water rescue teams were called to rescue two tourists who were lost for hours in a rhododendron forest in an Irish national park.

They were camping in Killarney National Park in County Kerry on Thursday when they became “disorientated”.

A helicopter guided them through the dense rhododendrons to a lake shore, where they were rescued by boat.

It is not the first time rescuers have been sent to the forest, which covers about a third of the 26,000 acres park.

‘Destructive’

Earlier this year, a Kerry politician called for military action to stop the “aggressive” rhododendrons from “taking over” the beauty spot.

“The rhododendron situation in Killarney National Park has become so bad that nothing short of calling in the army is going to put it right,” Michael Healy-Rae warned the Dáil (Irish parliament) in February.

The park runs a control programme for the plant and says that “hundreds of thousands of euros are spent each year in the battle to eradicate the highly invasive and destructive rhododendron ponticum”.

Image copyright ©Pam Brophy/CC Geograph
Image caption Killarney National Park is trying to control wild rhododendrons from spreading

‘Jungle-like’

Rhododendron ponticum is a non-native shrub that can grow taller than 25ft (8m) if it is not controlled.

Irish broadcaster, RTÉ, said the rhododendron plants have become “jungle-like” in parts of the park.

Its thick foliage not only presents problems for neighbouring plants and trees – it makes life difficult for rescue teams.

The tourists who could not find their way out of the forest on Thursday called Kerry Mountain Rescue at about 13:00 local time.

Mountain rescuers in turn requested assistance from a coast guard helicopter, because of the difficulty in finding the pair in the rhododendrons.

Image copyright South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association
Image caption In 2014, two walkers were rescued by boat from rhododendrons in the Knockmealdowns Mountains

A spokesman for the Irish Coast Guard in Valentia said the tourists’ orange tent was spotted from the air, but the aircraft could not reach them in the dense terrain.

Instead, it guided them to the shore of nearby Lough Leane.

The pair were taken on board a Kerry Water Rescue vessel at about 15:40 local time, more than two and a half hours after they first called for help.

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41282392

A similar method was also used in 2014 to help two walkers who became trapped in a ‘treacherous’ rhododendron forest between County Waterford and County Tipperary.

In the same category are

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg drops controversial stock plan Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to retain control of the company but sell his shares Facebook chief ...
UK’s credit rating downgraded by Moody’s Image copyright Reuters The UK's credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK's public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country's...
Russia: Trump and Kim are like ‘children in a kindergarten’ Image copyright EPA Image caption Mr Lavrov said the exchanges were "like when children in a kindergarten start fighting". Russia's foreign minist...
Two million couples missing out on tax break, says HMRC Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).The tax allo...
UK chip designer Imagination bought by Chinese firm Image copyright Reuters Image caption Apple uses Imagination's technology in its iPhones UK technology firm Imagination, which designs graphics ch...
Puerto Rico dam bursts in wake of Hurricane Maria A dam has failed and caused "extremely dangerous" flooding on Puerto Rico's Guajataca river in the wake of Hurricane Maria, authorities say. The Nat...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook


Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….

 

If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles

 

Comment on this story