Drama on the mountain: rescuers have their hands full

WSAR assist a 21-year-old hiker who collapsed on Lion’s Head. Picture: WSAR

WSAR assist a 21-year-old hiker who collapsed on Lion’s Head. Picture: WSAR

Published May 7, 2023


Cape Town - A 21-year-old who collapsed while hiking down Table Mountain on Saturday was among four separate incidents the Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) team responded to at the weekend.

While five separate WSAR teams were stationed at different points along the Cableway Challenge, team members were called to respond to separate incidents.

The rescue team was dispatched to Lion’s Head to assist a 21-year-old hiker after she collapsed while hiking down from the summit on Saturday morning.

“She had started to feel ill while descending and after resting on a bench, she was unable to proceed any further. She was driven down the trail in a Metro Police/ Law Enforcement - City of Cape Town vehicle. A medical team assessed her before she was taken home by her friends,” Marais said.

In the second incident a hiker believed to be in her forties stumbled and sprained her ankle while hiking up Platteklip Gorge on Saturday morning.

Team members were dispatched to her location midway up the trail and she was assisted back down the mountain by a rescue team.

She was transported to hospital by a family member.

Athletes participating in the Cableway Charity Challenge notified rescuers of a third incident where a hiker had injured himself at the junction of India Venster and the Contour Path.

“According to the 29-year-old hiker, he had stepped awkwardly and injured his ankle while carrying his dog. Unable to continue, rescuers assisted and later carried him back down the trail to the road,” said Marais.

He was driven to hospital by friends. His dog was safely carried down by another family member.

Team members were contacted by the event organisers after one of their athletes reported that a 36-year-old hiker had injured her ankle while descending Platteklip Gorge.

WSAR spokesperson Johann Marais said it was an honour to support the annual fund-raising charity challenge.

“It is always a pleasure and a privilege for WSAR to be part of the Cableway Charity challenge.

“We’re in awe of the efforts of all the participants and the event organisers, to raise essential funds for charities.

“This year Mother City Kitchen, Funda Kunye and Abalimi Bezekhaya, will benefit from the funds raised," said Marais.

“We would like to thank all WSAR team members who continue to support mountain safety in the Western Cape. We would like to wish our patients a speedy recovery,” Marais said.

Cape Times