Hikers need to be extra cautious during cold and slippery winter conditions

26 May 2023 | From Arrive Alive

First Rescues as Winter Strikes

• Incident 1 – Local hiker flown from India Venster window
• Incident 2 – Injured hiker rescued above Worcester 
• Incident 3 – Deceased carried from Newlands Forest trail

• Outdoor-lovers urged to take care after winter rain
• Save this crucial WSAR Emergency Number: 021 937 0300
• Consider supporting us - https://wsar.org.za/support-us/

Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) Report – Saturday May 20, 2023

Dedicated teams of professionals and volunteers from Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) responded to three incidents on Saturday.

Incident 1

Teams were dispatched to the lower cable station shortly before 09h00 after receiving reports that a hiker had injured himself on the India Venster hike.

The 66-year-old hiker slipped on the wet trail and injured himself.

He was unable to continue, and a call was made to the emergency number.

Several team members quickly hiked up to his position. 

He was assessed and treated by a paramedic. The assistance of the Western Cape Department of Health & Wellness EMS / Air Mercy Service (AMS) rescue helicopter was requested.

Once on scene, the patient was hoisted up into the helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone, before being transported to hospital by ambulance.

Incident 2

A small team onboard the Western Cape Department of Health & Wellness EMS / Air Mercy Service (AMS) rescue helicopter was flown to Hex River Mountains north of Worcester after a hiker injured herself on the trail to Disa Dell.

The 64-year-old hiker had badly injured her ankle and was unable to continue.

She was hoisted up into the helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone, before being transported to hospital by ambulance.

Incident 3

Teams were alerted to an incident involving an elderly hiker in Newlands Forest late on Saturday afternoon.

According to reports, the 75-year-old hiker collapsed while walking in the forest. 

Sadly, when the teams arrived, they found that the gentleman had passed away.

His remains were placed into a stretcher and carried down to the start of the trail, before being handed over to SAPS members on scene. 

A spokesperson for Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR), David Nel: “We’re seeing large numbers of outdoor enthusiasts taking to the trails, despite the wintery conditions.

“While we encourage everyone to head out and appreciate the beauty of the Western Cape, we appeal to anyone venturing into the wilderness at this time of year to be cautious. 

“Expect cold and wet conditions for the next few months, so make sure to pack a waterproof layer and an extra warm clothing when heading out.

“Take care when hiking near rivers and be careful on wet and slippery trails.

“We would like to wish our patient a speedy recovery and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased,” Nel said.


• We rely on the generosity of other and we’re always incredibly grateful for the donations we receive. If you would like to support us - https://wsar.org.za/support-us/ 

• Members of the public are reminded to save and memorise the WSAR Emergency Contact Number, 021 937 0300.

• Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) is a network of government agencies, and civilian volunteer organisations, who partner in search and rescue.

Photos provided by Nicholas Burger, Isak Wüst, Brent Russel, Hendré Zoutendyk and Ian Austin

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