Twenty Irish tourists suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia have been helped by the Spanish emergency services while taking part in the ‘Camino de Santiago’ pilgrimage.
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, is a network of pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in the north-western Spanish region of Galicia.
According to local media, the emergency services received a call at around 6pm saying that a group of 20 Irish tourists, including four blind people, were showing signs of exhaustion and hypothermia.
As the adverse weather conditions were worsening, firefighters were sent to their location in two vehicles to evacuate the members of the group in the most distress.
The rest of the group was guided along one of the routes towards the Roncesvalles hostel where they reportedly stayed the night.
Luckily, no one needed hospital attention after falling into trouble near the mountainous border with southern France.
According to reports, the emergency services have assisted in three rescue operations on the Camino de Santiago so far this year.
On 24th April, 23 pilgrims were rescued near the Izandorre refuge, which is situated close to where the Irish group needed assistance.
On 18th February, a woman and her two children were saved in the same area when the father called the authorities to inform them that they had not returned to the hostel.
Every year, the authorities carry out around 30 rescue operations on the Camino de Santiago between southern France and northern Spain, usually due to adverse weather conditions.