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Carraountoohil walker owes rescue to cente in Houston

A walker stranded on a ledge on Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, in the MacGillycuddy's Reeks near Killarney owes his rescue to a signal from personal locator beacon picked up by a coordination centre in Houston, Texas.

Kerry Mountain Rescue were called to the scene on the lower slopes of the mountain after the walker’s distress signal from a personal locator was picked up by satellite and relayed to the centre in Houston Texias who in turn passed the message onto Valentia Coastguard and Marine Rescue Centre.

The walker was well equipped and was on his own when he became stranded on an inaccessible rocky ledge, or cragfast in mountaineering parlance.

There was no mobile phone signal at the location, the rescuers said.

However, he was carrying a 406 MHz personal locator beacon which he activated and it was this which led to his rescue.

He was quickly located and roped to safety in fading light on Friday evening.

As the year closes, the number of callouts at 46 for the KMRT have made 2018 one of the busiest years on the mountains of the southwest.

The 35-strong team have dealt with seven fatalities.

In all they have assisted dozens of people, logging up almost 2,500 hours.

A further 2,000 hours were spent on training, including in ice and snow.

New technical equipment introduced in 2018 has improved rope safety systems.