Hiker and her nephew rescued at Platteklip Gorge

A team of nearly 50 people helped an aunt and nephew from KwaZulu-Natal down Platteklip Gorge. Picture: CPUT

A team of nearly 50 people helped an aunt and nephew from KwaZulu-Natal down Platteklip Gorge. Picture: CPUT

Published Feb 28, 2024


A fifty-three-year-old hiker and her 28-year-old nephew from KwaZulu-Natal were brought to safety following a strenuous rescue on Platteklip Gorge along Table Mountain on Monday.

The hikers called for assistance when it became clear they would not able to get down the mountain on Sunday night due to the strong south-easterly wind.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway was not operating, and the Air Mercy Service helicopter was unavailable at the time to assist with the extraction.

According to Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR), a team of six rescuers hiked up with warm gear to spend the night on the mountain with the duo.

WSAR said it took nearly 50 people, including SANParks rangers and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) staff and students, who responded to assist the stranded visitors.

“A group of second-year ECP (Extended Curriculum Programme) students from CPUT stepped in to assist by carrying the second patient, a 28-year-old from KwaZulu-Natal, from the contour path junction on Platteklip Gorge.

“He had made slow steady progress down the trail for nearly eight hours, as teams of rescuers carried his aunt down the mountain, but was unable to proceed any further.

“He was helped into a rescue stretcher and carried down to the road,” WSAR said in a statement.

The rescue organisation said the incident was concluded shortly before 5pm on Monday – almost 24 hours after the initial SOS call.

CPUT senior lecturer in the Emergency Medical Science Department, Benjamin de Waal, who led the team of ECP students, said around mid-morning their department was contacted by the Western Cape Provincial Emergency Medical Services for assistance.

“Two hikers had encountered difficulties on the mountain the previous evening and were assisted by Metro Rescue staff and WSAR volunteers overnight.

“In the morning, due to dangerous high wind conditions, neither the Table Mountain Cableway nor the Red Cross Air Mercy Service helicopter were able to assist in the rescue.

“The on-scene commander subsequently decided to go ahead with carry out a rescue as both hikers were located on the Platteklip Gorge Trail, and this was to be a massive rescue effort,” De Waal said.

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