English Climber Stretchered to Safety from the Reeks

Feb 23, 1990 | Archive

An English climber, suffering from exposue, was stretchered to safety from the MacGillycuddy Reeks by the K Mountain Rescue Team early yesterday. The mercy mission was undertaken in the hours of darkness and was made hazardous by gale force winds. There were fears that the man would have died if he was forced to remain on the bitterly cold mountains for too long.

The climber, Richard Morgan, in his forties and from Yorkshire, was removed by ambulance to Tralee General Hospital where he is expected to remain for a few days. He had spent all of Wednesday on the Reeks with an English companion, also in his forties. As evening approached he showed symptoms of hypothermia, or exposure, and was unable to go any further.

His companion, having ensured that Mr. Morgan was warmly clothed, then descended from a height of 2,300 feet to summon help. Both were experienced climbers and were adequately dressed for the terrain. The 12-member rescue team, led by Louis O’Toole and accompanied by Sgt. Jack McGrath, Killarney, set off up the mountain late on Wednesday night, and it took four hours to bring Mr. Morgan to the home of Mr. Michael Leane, Beaufort, at the base of the mountain.

The stretcher had to be carefully lowered down four steep ridges and a team member, Carmel Cremin, sustained a forehead injury after being blown against a rock by the gales.