Three-hour battle to rescue hikers, dog that fell down ravine on Table Mountain
The Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) had to battle for three hours to rescue a six-month-old dog that had fallen down the steep Slangolie Ravine on Table Mountain and the two hikers who got stuck on a ledge trying to reach him.
Luke Dollimore went hiking with his two loyal canine companions on Tuesday afternoon, only to have his one dog, Dakota, a German Pointer, slip almost 50m down the ravine, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA said.
Rescuers who had been trying to track down a lone trail runner, who found his way back after seeming off-route, made their way towards the ravine, the WSAR said.
The ravine is in the northern section of the Table Mountain National Park at the southern end of the Pipe Track, overlooking the suburb of Bakoven.
"Luke was in an understandably distressed state and was only too happy to see the SPCA and WSAR arrive to help save Dakota from this perilous situation," the SPCA said.
"Two civilians, Garth and MJ, had already very bravely ascended the cliff face to search for Dakota, who they managed to locate before finding themselves, too, trapped on the ledge. They were unable to get down again due to the rough terrain and the very steep drop below them.
"WSAR expertly lowered ropes down to them, which enabled Garth and MJ to abseil down from the ledge to safety. They placed Dakota in their backpack – not an easy feat but they did it!
"Hours passed during this tense rescue operation and after 19:00 Dakota was brought to safety. His owner, Luke, was overwhelmed and so happy that his much loved Dakota was miraculously uninjured and returned safely back to him.
"We extend a huge thank you to WSAR and a special shout out to the two civilian climbers who braved the climb to search for Dakota. We are encouraged that Dakota’s life meant so much to so many."
SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse, who had arrived shortly after 3.45pm, remained on the mountain for the duration of the rescue, only leaving once Dakota was back in his owner's arms.
At 13.32pm on Tuesday, the WSAR was called by a hiker who reported that he could see a trail runner about 300m below him, who seemed as if he was off-route and struggling to find the path.
"The caller, who was close to the summit of Devil’s Peak in the northern section of the Table Mountain National Park, was asked to maintain a visual on the person while rescuers were dispatched to the southern end of Tafelberg road along the front of Table Mountain," the WSAR said.
"Fortunately for the lone trail runner, he was able to find his way back onto a path and made his way down Mowbray Ridge to reach the Contour Path at the King’s Blockhouse above Rhode’s Memorial.
"Here he was met by SANParks visitor safety patrollers, who gave him a first aid check before driving the gentleman back to his vehicle."IOL