Cape Town-111201-Table Mountain lit up with red lights to mark World Aids Day. Photo:Ross Jansen

Cape Town - An American diplomat fell to his death while hiking on the Table Mountain range near Camps Bay on Thursday.

Five volunteer teams from Wilderness Search and Rescue searched through the night. Then, shortly after 6am on Friday morning, the 53-year-old man’s body was spotted by an Emergency Medical Services helicopter. Two paramedics were lowered from the helicopter to the body. The man was declared dead at the scene.

He had left his hotel in Cape Town and gone hiking on Thursday afternoon.

Police have identified the victim. However, the American Embassy’s spokesman, Jack Hillmeyer, asked the Cape Argus not to publish the name because they had not received official confirmation and his next of kin had not yet been notified.

“(The man) contacted his hotel at about 3pm informing them that he was getting lost,” said police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana.

“Before receiving help, he called again, indicating he had found his way again. It is alleged that was the last time the hotel heard from him.”

Metro rescue workers searched part of the mountain and the body was found. Police are investigating and an inquest docket has been opened.

“It appears that the man fell to his death on a rocky slope called Porcupine buttress. The area is known to be dangerous and another hiker nearly died during a fall there last year,” said Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesman Anwaaz Bent.

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Cape Argus