Man survives 80m fall
Tom de Wet, Volksblad
Bloemfontein - A young man from Bultfontein in the Free State has miraculously survived an approximately 80m fall from a cliff onto a ledge and then further down into a crevice.
Francois de Ridder, 22, broke his neck, back and ribs and crushed his right ankle in the fall at Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape, but he was not paralysed.
He will probably be treated for some time in the Frere Hospital in East London before being transferred closer to home in the Free State, as it is feared that moving him now could cause permanent damage.
His father, Theuns, who rushed from Bultfontein to be with his family after the accident on Saturday, said they were grateful to the people of Bultfontein and Morgan Bay who were supporting them.
“At one stage there were six volunteer doctors on the accident scene.”
De Ridder jnr, his mother, Jeanette, and sister, Ella, were on holiday when he wanted to go fishing on Saturday morning.
He took his camera from his backpack to take a picture, slipped and fell about 65m down the slope onto a rock ledge.
He hit his head on a rock and lost consciousness.
The weight of his backpack dragged him off the ledge and he fell another 12m.
Fishermen who saw him fall rushed to help and a schoolgirl performed first aid until help arrived.
Rescue workers struggled for more than four hours to get him out.
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