A 71-year old man was airlifted to hospital yesterday, after he became disorientated and spent the night in his car in freezing conditions.
The man is understood to have become confused whilst driving home from Kilrush, late on Friday. The pensioner contacted Gardaí after 9pm on Friday via mobile, as he had become lost after turning down a cul de sac. It is thought his car got stuck, after he tried to reverse back onto the road.
The man was unable to tell Gardaí where he was located, leading to a frantic search for his whereabouts. Temperatures were below zero at the time and a rescue helicopter and the Irish Coast Guard unit of Kilkee were called in to help locate the man.
The man was in constant contact with Coast Guard members, but was not able to tell them where he was. Coast Guards began using flares to help locate the man, asking him to tell them if he saw any of them, which he did not. Contact was lost at around 3:30 am, as the man’s mobile phone ran out of battery.
The search continued until just after 4am by garda, coast guards and the rescue helicopter, though their attempts were unsuccessful and the search called off until morning. The man was then discovered near Labasheeda at approximately 9am yesterday morning, just 15kms from his home.
He was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment via helicopter, where he is now receiving treatment. Despite a night spent in freezing conditions, he is understood to be in good shape.