Family baffled by hiker's death

2012-11-07 11:07
Robert Barclay (via Facebook)

Robert Barclay (via Facebook)

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Cape Town - The family of a seasoned hiker who died on the Bainskloof Pass in the Western Cape is mystified by his death, it was reported on Wednesday.

"We don't know what caused his death. We know that he went for a hike on the pass. I have no answers," John Barclay told The Cape Times of the death of his brother Robert, 24.

"He was an experienced hiker and loved the outdoors and adventure."

Barclay, who was originally from Rondebosch, Cape Town, had flown in from Botswana and was staying with friends at a lodge on Eerste Tol. He went for a walk at about 18:00 on Saturday without a backpack or refreshments. He did not return.

A three-day search ensued by 79 people who combed 300 hectares of rocky and steep terrain.

Witness

Emergency services spokesperson Keri Davids said Barclay's body was found in a 250m deep gorge early on Tuesday morning. A rescue team spent two hours getting the body out of the gorge, which is located on the Wellington side of the Bainskloof Pass.

The Cape Times reported that a Wellington resident, who declined to be named, had seen Barclay hiking.

"We told him to come up and get away from the cliff because it was dangerous... he remained down the cliff. It became very dark and we had to leave the area."

Warrant Officer November Filander reportedly said an eyewitness saw a person jump off a cliff in the pass and pointed out the spot to rescuers, who then found the body. He said an inquest had been opened.

On Tuesday, Western Cape environmental affairs MEC Anton Bredell said Barclay may have slipped and fallen to his death,

"It is suspected that [he]... fell down the edge of a waterfall. He suffered from vertigo," said Bredell.

Read more on:    cape town  |  search and rescue
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