Cape Clear helipad’s poor lighting is a cause for concern

September 10th, 2021 11:50 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Windblown grass and faulty lights presented difficulties for an emergency crew who carried out a nightime medevac from Cape Clear Island recently.

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PROBLEMS with Cape Clear’s helipad have been identified after a rescue crew experienced difficulties in the dead of night.

The issue was highlighted locally by a person who estimated that two thirds of the lights on the helipad are not working.

The issue emerged after a 2am mercy mission was carried out by the Rescue 117 helicopter on the August bank holiday Monday.

The casualty needed immediate hospitalisation and was airlifted to Cork Airport and subsequently transferred to Cork University Hospital by the National Ambulance Service.

It is understood that the poor lighting gave the helicopter crew cause for concern, but there was an additional problem in that long cut grass created something of a ‘straw storm’.

Cork County Council, which has responsibility for the helipad, told The Southern Star this week that it has recently cleared vegetation in the precincts of the helipad.

‘The Council can confirm that an application for funding for lighting enhancements has been submitted by the Council to the Department of Rural and Community Development for its consideration,’ it added.

‘The Council is also following up with the Department a prioritised 2021 request for funds, noting the importance of the helipad to the islanders, and a decision from the Department is awaited.’

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