File photo: WSAR
File photo: WSAR

Busy period for rescuing hikers on Table Mountain

By Staff Writer Time of article published Aug 22, 2019

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Cape Town – The Peninsula Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) had to be activated on Wednesday night after a caller reported that a 28-year-old local male had suffered a medical emergency.

He had been hiking along the popular Kloof Corner trail, just below the Contour Path, near the Lower Cable Station, when a call came in at 6.24pm.

"On arrival, it was learnt that the person had suffered complications as a result of a pre-existing medical condition. 

"The patient was stabilised, after which he was deemed fit enough to be walked down the path with the assistance of the rescuers in the dark," the WSAR said.

"Once all had reached Tafelberg Road, the hiker did not require any further attention from the responders. He then left via private transport."

At 5pm on Tuesday, the WSAR, who had a busy time last week as well, was asked to assist an injured hiker just below the summit of Platteklip Gorge.

"On arrival at the scene of the emergency, a Kenyan female in her twenties was treated for an ankle injury. Her leg was immobilised, after which she was assisted and carried to the summit of Platteklip Gorge. 

"From there the parties descended the mountain in the cable car. Once all were safely at the Lower Cable Station, no further assistance was required. The visitor left via private transport."

At the same time on Tuesday, the WSAR was activated after a caller reported that two hikers were in distress at Karbonkelberg in Hout Bay.

"The hikers, who were just below the summit of Suther Peak overlooking Sandy Bay, found themselves in a situation where they could not proceed any further. They also complained that they were dehydrated and tired.

"While the responders were making their way to the incident command post at the NSRI Hout Bay base, the hikers managed to find their way up to the summit of Suther Peak and out of danger. 

"After receiving reliable communication from the hikers that they were out of trouble and able to find their way off the mountain on their own, the response was terminated," the WSAR said.

At 4.20pm on Monday, the WSAR was asked to come to the assistance of an injured female hiker on Devil’s Peak. The lone casualty hiker was discovered by chance when a male  trail runner happened to pass the scene of the accident. 

"He was responsible for the emergency call. There was a communication challenge since the trail runner, who was German-speaking, was unable to draw information from the injured lady. 

"The extent of her injuries also resulted in her not being able to speak.

"When the helicopter arrived at Devil’s Peak, the patient, who was in a critical condition, was promptly packaged, hoisted into the helicopter and delivered to a nearby emergency landing zone."

She was handed to a waiting ambulance, which transported her to a medical facility for further treatment.

At 7.38pm on Monday, the WSAR received a call from one of the rescue mountaineers who happened to be descending Lion’s Head at the time. She and her party had come across an injured hiker who was painfully struggling down the trail.

"The scene of the incident, which was below the second paraglider launch site, was quite busy. The casualty, who was a 35-year-old female Brazilian tourist, was placed in a stretcher and carried down the path to where it meets up with the jeep track. 

"There she was placed into a 4x4 vehicle and driven down the gravel to the start of the trail at Signal Hill Road. After no further assistance was required, the tourist left via private transport."

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