An injured mountaineer was rescued from the Du Toitskloof Mountains late on Thursday [January 7]. The hiker was stuck near the Huguenot Tunnel on the Worcester side and a multidisciplinary team of rescue and emergency personnel worked to retrieve the patient for three hours.

The Drakenstein Farm Watch (DFW) said it received the call to join the recovery mission from Metro EMS just before 8 pm and dispatched their Emergency First Aid Responder (EFAR) medics to the scene.

An earlier search was launched by Netcare 911 recovery team, who found the patient, however, the two-man team was not able to transmit for assistance due to terrain difficulty and communication problems, but stayed by the patient,” said Drakenstein Farm Watch in a Facebook post.

When DFW arrived at the scene, they determined that there was sufficient light to launch the mission. They split into two rescue teams – one would carry the rescue equipment to the accident site and the other would remain with the emergency vehicles and assist Metro with logistics and communications.

Additional rescue teams joined the mission, including Cape Nature, which started its climb in the dark.

“Through the DFW radio network and WhatsApp groups, the operation was announced, leading to valuable information of the exact location of the patient and regarding the injuries,” said DFW.

The information was sent to the first DFW teams and soon they reached the initial Netcare 911 recovery team at 9.09 pm and were joined by the other teams shortly after.

The return journey took more than two hours to complete because of the rough terrain and DFW said “a cheer went up when base camp was reached.”
“The last hurdle was to find the right spot to cross the river, but also this was done successfully,” said the DFW.
The patient was loaded into the ambulance and transported to a hospital and the rescue teams were debriefed.
The joint efforts of so many teams, professionals, and volunteers of different entities showed “how comradeship and persistence can lead to successful actions and recoveries,” said DFW.
Picture/s: Facebook / DFW rescue crew

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