A campaigner has launched a petition asking for emergency phones to be installed along a popular coastal road.
Laura Eckersley had to call 999 last week to ask the emergency services for help when her boyfriend got stuck some 150ft down a cliff off Marine Drive near Port Soderick to rescue their dog, Zack.
She had to walk away from the scene to make the call, as she said there was no mobile phone signal.
’I know that we’re not the first people to experience an accident along there, let alone even this year,’ Miss Eckersley said.
’I was speaking to a couple who had also recently discovered that there was no phone signal on Marine Drive. It could be that people aren’t even aware of this and so it’s a warning to people for anyone who does exercise down there.
’The government is also considering pedestrianising that entire route, which means there would be more footfall, more people, more cyclists and potential for an accident.
’I would never want anyone else to be in that situation.’
Miss Eckersley had to walk some distance away from the scene to get a signal on her mobile phone.
’I could have made sure my boyfriend didn’t climb further down, as I had been instructed by the Coastguard to do so. Unfortunately, I was gone for over 20 minutes,’ she said.
’When you’re in that situation, your instincts take over and you just want to do what you can.
’We were extremely lucky, but someone else might not be,’ she added.
She said the Department of Infrastructure should consider installing emergency phones not just along Marine Drive, but in other outdoor locations with no strong phone signal.
She said: ’One thing that’s come to light is that it’s not just Marine Drive that’s not got a phone signal. If the government wants to promote the island as a UNESCO Biosphere and for us to enjoy the beautiful scenery, we have to be able to do that safely.
’I know that because of the geography of some of these areas that maybe getting a mobile phone signal isn’t feasible, so maybe there could be emergency phone boxes installed or a way to "boost" the signal in the area.
’There might be a better alternative but I felt that should the worst happen to someone, people should have the ability to contact the emergency services or someone to help them.’
Miss Eckersley said that small phone boxes would likely be more visually appealing than a big phone mast.
The petition, launched on Thursday last week, has so far received more than 150 signatures.
She said the response so far has been positive.
’I originally shared it on my Facebook page and now it’s spread to the wider public,’ she said.
’If other people have any suggestions or might feel the same way, I’d encourage them to contact the DoI.
’If enough people get behind the petition, then perhaps it will spark a change and it will happen.’
Miss Eckersley’s petition can be found at www.change.org under the title: Emergency phones installed along Marine Drive.