A 79-year-old male hiker accidentally slipped off the path during a hike from the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, prompting the Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) to to release a statement to hikers about staying safe in the mountains.

The Peninsula WSAR was deployed at the scene on January 4 2019 at 08.36am after a call for assistance was received.

Reports state that the male hiker had slid off the contour path on his way towards Cecilia Forest and required urgent assistance.

A WSAR trailer, a Metro Rescue Mobile Incident Command Vehicle and a SANParks Visitor Safety Patrol 4×4 vehicle with crew were dispatched to provide assistance.

WSAR released an official statement, explaining the hiker was found five meters below the path.

“Two Metro Rescue Advanced Life Support Medical Rescue Technicians and three SANParks Patrollers drove to an area just below the Contour Path at Nursery Ravine via a jeep track. From there they set off on foot to locate the patient. On arrival, the patient was found approximately five meters below the path in a sitting position while holding onto a tree for support.”

Rescue efforts included the use of a rope system and fitted harness to ensure the victim did not fall further.

Upon medical assessment, the hiker only sustained minor bruises and scratches.

WSAR spokesperson, Johan Marais told EWN that hikers must be cautious while walking through difficult terrain.

“It’s important that people are very careful and concentrate when they negotiate even the footpath. They should always pause and be stationary when they take pictures,” Marais said.

WSAR has provide a list of safety tips for hikers: 

1. Be careful and concentrate when negotiating the paths which are mostly uneven

2. While taking photographs, eating or drinking hikers are advised to pause and remain stationary while doing so.

3. Keep away from the edge of the path or view site, a simple distraction may startle hikers and result in them loosing balance or footing.

4. Dry conditions cause the gravel sections to become unstable underfoot.

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.