Berg hiker breaks legs in 20-m fall

2008-05-23 00:00

THE parents of an English teenager who broke both legs after falling 20 metres to the bottom of an Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park cliff will be flying out to be with their son at La Verna Hospital in Ladysmith today.

Steven Hird (18) is in a stable condition after he was admitted in a critical condition in the early hours of yesterday. He fell at about 9.30 pm and lay at the bottom of a cliff until 2.30 am, when the KZN Mountain Rescue group arrived to rescue him.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) spokesman Jeff Gaisford said Hird and a companion got lost on a hike and Hird attempted to climb down a cliff, but fell. Local resident Sicelo Mtshali heard Hird screaming, found him and alerted EKZNW.

Weekend Witness established from a hospital source that Hird was admitted with both legs broken, one in two places. He is also recovering from hypothermia.

Drakensberg Medical Rescue spokeswoman Mandy Tilbrook said the rescuers undertook a “gruelling five-hour hike with the assistance of ropes”.

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