Triple-rescues lead stricken hikers to safety, Western Cape
Dedicated teams of professionals and volunteers from Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) successfully mounted three separate mountain rescues this past weekend. In three separate incidents WSAR rescuers reached a man who spent the night alone on remote mountain cliff, rescued a hiker who fell from Table Mountain and WSAR teams then rescued an elderly foreign tourist.
A 68-year-old local was rescued from a cliff high above Porterville on Saturday afternoon, 17 December 2022, after spending the night alone high up on the mountain. The man was reported missing the evening before, and WSAR teams scoured the mountain and located him on Saturday. The rescue team then requested assistance from the Western Cape Department of Health EMS / Air Mercy Service (AMS) rescue helicopter and safely extracted the gentleman from his position on the cliff.
According to the patient, he had become disorientated in the mist on Friday afternoon and lost his way while descending from the farm on top of the mountain. He was hoisted into the helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone, before being handed over to a waiting medical team and driven home.
On Sunday morning WSAR received a call for a fallen hiker just below Left Face on Table Mountain. The hiker had been scrambling up a steep section, when he fell approximately 5m and injured himself. Several teams were transported to the top of the mountain with the assistance of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, and then expertly descended the mountain to the patient’s location.
The patient was treated on scene and packaged into a stretcher, before being hoisted safely up to the Western Cape Department of Health EMS / AMS rescue helicopter. He was flown to a nearby landing zone and handed over to an ambulance before being transported to hospital.
On Sunday evening the family of an 85-year-old foreign hiker called for help after he fell while descending Platteklip Gorge on Table Mountain. A WSAR team on board the Western Cape Department of Health EMS /AMS rescue helicopter were immediately flown to the scene and hoisted down to the patient. The elderly gentleman was unable to continue down the mountain and was safely hoisted from the scene into the helicopter.
David Nel, a spokesperson for Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR), said, “It’s not unusual for us to see high numbers of mountain users over this time of the year, especially after the poor weather we experienced last week. We urge all mountain users to plan appropriately, avoid hiking in the hottest hours of the day, carry enough water and save our emergency contact number 021 937 0300 to their phones.”
Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) is a network of government agencies and civilian volunteer organisations, who partner in search and rescue.
Photos: David Nel
Source: Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR)