Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) is a network of government agencies and civilian volunteer organisations that partner in search and rescue. This past weekend, its dedicated teams of professionals and volunteers responded to four hiking-related incidents in the Western Cape.
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The first incident involved teams travelling to the Kogelberg Nature Reserve on Clarence Drive after a 40-year-old hiker injured her leg while descending from the Crystal Pools trail’s top abseil point.
Because of the trail’s remote location and technical nature, a team from the Western Cape Department of Health EMS / Air Mercy Service (AMS) was flown to the scene in a rescue helicopter.
The rescue crew was lowered to the patient’s location. She was evaluated and treated before being hoisted into the helicopter and flown to a nearby landing strip, and she was later taken to the hospital by ambulance.
After encountering a collapsed hiker near the top of Platteklip Gorge late Friday afternoon, a passing hiker contacted Wilderness Search and Rescue.
Teams were quickly dispatched, and when they arrived at the lower cable station of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, they were informed that the patient had been able to slowly make her way to the upper cable station.
Paramedics evaluated her before transporting her to the hospital.
A team from the Western Cape Department of Health’s EMS/Air Mercy Service (AMS) rescue helicopter was flown to Du Toitskloof on Saturday afternoon after a 28-year-old hiker injured her leg while returning from the Kromriver waterfall.
A paramedic and rescue climber was lowered to her location, where they assessed and treated the patient before lifting her into the plane and flying her to the Du Toitskloof Lodge landing zone.
WSAR was called in late Sunday afternoon to investigate reports that a hiker had become stranded on the India Venster hiking trail beneath the cableway. When SANParks (Table Mountain National Park Rangers) investigated, they found no trace of the hiker.
“We’re fortunate to have such capable rescue aircraft and crews in the Western Cape,” said WSAR spokesperson David Nel. “Without their assistance on Sunday afternoon, large teams of rescuers would have spent many hours in a highly technical environment, at night, to safely carry the patient out of the river gorge.”
“We know that many wilderness enthusiasts still do not know about WSAR or how to call for help in a wilderness emergency. We again ask that everyone reading this please help us by continuing to share the emergency contact number, 021 937 0300, and our posts with the #IAmWildernessSafe campaign,” Nel added.
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Picture: Wilderness Search & Rescue Western Cape / Facebook