The weather conditions has forced them to spend the night with the man who was found on Table Mountain at the Upper Cable Station on Table Mountain. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
The weather conditions has forced them to spend the night with the man who was found on Table Mountain at the Upper Cable Station on Table Mountain. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA

Missing Hout Bay man found on Table Mountain but weather scuppers bid to bring him to safety

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Aug 26, 2021

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Cape Town - A Hout Bay man who went missing on Wednesday was found on Table Mountain on Thursday after residents in the area, police and private security launched a search for Massimo Filante, 29 years old.

Community Crime Prevention (CCP), an NPO established by a group of concerned residents already working in social crime prevention and response, posted about the missing man to alert residents in the area.

“Massimo Filante left his home in Hout Bay yesterday (Wednesday) at 13.00 and was meant to catch the MyCiTi bus at the Berg N dal stop – (heading towards) the V&A Waterfront.

“Massimo is a very, very introverted young man that suffers from social anxiety/phobia, and not in his character not to return home.”

While SAPS and security service providers (SSPs) searched for Filante on Wednesday night in both Hout Bay and Camps Bay, they had found no trace of him.

However, CCP rallied together requesting security footage from various places to track down where Filante was last seen, and a breakthrough came with the assistance of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

“This morning, CCP control searched the camera footage and found that, in fact, Massimo did leave his home and did get on the MyCiTi bus.

“(Councillor and Mayco member for Transport) Roberto Quintas then got involved and tried to get camera footage on the bus.”

CCP said that, in the meantime, they alerted Atlantic Seaboard SSPs, SAPS, metro police and contacted the V&A Waterfront to start searching their cameras.

“Footage then came through from TMAC (Table Mountain Aerial Cableway) of a person stuck up on Table Mountain in this weather – that person fitted Massimo's description.”

Cape Town is currently experiencing a “severe storm” that made landfall in the province on Thursday, and according to the Western Cape’s Disaster Management Centre, is expected to bring disruptive rain into Friday.

CCP then added that: “The most incredible trail runner, Armand Du Plessis, then ran up to the top to let Massimo know help was on the way while the cableway staff and management monitored the CCTV feed watching Massimo, but were unable to talk to him.

“Armand got to him, gave him something warm to wear and something to eat and drink while Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR), SANParks, metro rescue were on the way up to bring him down.”

SAPS and SANParks have been contacted for comment, and the story will be updated once a response has been received.

The rescue for Filante is not yet over as WSAR spokesperson John Marais said that while they have reached him, the weather conditions has forced them to spend the night with Filante at the Upper Cable Station on Table Mountain.

The weather conditions has forced rescuers to spend the night with a man at the Upper Cable Station on Table Mountain. Picture: WSAR
The weather conditions has forced rescuers to spend the night with a man at the Upper Cable Station on Table Mountain. Picture: WSAR Picture: WSAR

Marais explained that Filante was assisted by a trail runner who stayed with him until a team of six WSAR members arrived at the Upper Cable Station.

He said a decision had been made to spend the night with Filante in the ablution block at the Upper Cable Station as conditions are not favourable for his extraction, and they can keep him safe and warm there overnight.

Cape Argus

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