A YOUNG woman, whose car went off a bridge into a river near the Dingle peninsula, was rescued by three members of the Clare Outdoor Club on Sunday.
Nine members from the club travelled to Dingle to climb Stradbally and Beenoskee mountains last weekend.
The group had just arrived in Glanteenassig Forest Car park to begin their hike. The car the young woman was driving pulled in to let two of their cars pass.
The third car had missed the turn for the forest and arrived a few minutes later.
The occupants of this car, Paul Kinnane, Melitta Price and Deidre O’Donoghue came to the rescue of the woman whose car capsized and went into the river.
Five other club members, Clara Slattery, Ellen Frawley, Mike Egan, Monica McMahon and Peter O’Shea arrived a short time afterwards to lend their assistance.
Paul recalled as they were driving over the bridge, he saw a car was upside down and the wheels were still spinning.
He believes the woman missed the turn slightly and the front of the car caught on the edge of a piece of concrete.
Melitta stopped the car and the three occupants got out, Paul said, and he went down to the capsized car and pulled the door open.
“The woman was upside down in the car and was totally covered in water. The driver’s window had totally shattered.
“There were a few pieces of glass and blood around her. She was screaming for help, but thankfully she wasn’t trapped.
“I turned off the engine, which was still running.
“I pulled her out of the car while I managed to keep the car door from swinging down on top of both of us. It was all a bit of a blur.
“I was trying to make sure she wasn’t injuring herself more because she was complaining about her knee.”
He said Melitta helped him to get her up to a nearby bank. He believes the woman was finished her walk and was about to go home when the accident happened.
Because members of the Clare Outdoor Club have first aid and basic emergency care training, they bandaged up her cuts, while Melitta and Deirdre got her changed into dry clothes.
The lady had sustained scratches on her arm and one bad cut to her elbow.
They also kept her talking to ensure she wasn’t suffering from concussion. Paul returned to her car and retrieved her glasses and her phone.
Deirdre also telephoned for an ambulance, which Paul estimated took about 40 minutes to arrive. Clara went back to her car and drove down to the main road to direct the ambulance to the scene of the accident.
The nine club members waited until the ambulance arrived. The gardai and fire brigade arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.
The lady was taken to hospital and made a full recovery.
A spokesperson for the Clare Outdoor Club stated the actions of their club members were to be highly commended and are testament to the leadership, training and individual skill sets members bring to the club.
by Dan Danaher