Tourist airlifted from Blarney Castle after heart attack

An American tourist in his 50s who was airlifted from the top of the landmark Blarney Castle in Cork after suffering a heart attack is recovering in hospital.

The alarm was raised around 10.15am yesterday when the man, who is on holidays here with his wife, collapsed moments after they had scaled the flight of steep, narrow steps leading to the Blarney Stone.

Blarney Castle staff, who are trained in first aid, gave immediate assistance. A member of the Blarney community first responders, who happened to be working nearby, was on the scene within minutes, followed by two ambulance crews and two units of the fire service.

The medics rushed to the top of the castle and administered CPR and used a defibrillator. They managed to revive the man at the scene but given the location, the man’s critical condition, and the difficulties they faced in carrying him down the narrow steps, they decided to call in an airlift.

Members of Crosshaven coast guard unit also prepared a landing site in a nearby field.

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was on scene shortly after 11am.

The casualty was airlifted from the ramparts onto the aircraft, which then landed nearby before the casualty was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

He was taken to CUH, where his condition was described last night as stable.

Meanwhile, an ESB worker suffered multiple injuries when he fell some 20m from the electricity pole he was working on in Ballea, near Carrigaline, at around 1pm yesterday.

His co-workers rendered first aid at the scene before a rapid response doctor and paramedics arrived, and he was rushed to Cork University Hospital. His injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening.

Dr Jason van der Velde praised those who treated both casualties on the scenes.

“These men are alive today because of the chain of survival — well-trained first-aiders, community first-responders; paramedics, and the coastguard all working together.”

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