Missing hikers found in Fish River Canyon

2011-07-22 10:11
Johannesburg - Three South African hikers were found in the Fish River Canyon in Namibia late on Thursday afternoon, three days after they went missing.

A search was launched to find air force official Rick Harmse, 45, his wife, Sandra, 42, and René Booysen after they failed to turn up at their destination on Monday afternoon,

The Harmses are from Theresa Park in northern Pretoria.

The missing hikers were part of a group of seven who had gone hiking in the canyon.


Group member Rina Vrey said a helicopter started looking for the missing hikers on Thursday afternoon after search parties found nothing in three days of searching on foot.

The three hikers were seen from the helicopter and picked up about three kilometres from Ai-Ais, right behind the camp. They had gotten lost, but were unhurt.

Vrey said that on Monday the hiking group had to climb over a huge boulder to get out of the ravine, about 15km from the last camp at Ai-Ais.

The Harmses and Booysen fell back because the two women were very tired and Booysen had blisters on her feet.

“He said they would meet us by the river,” said Vrey.

“We waited for them for an hour-and-a-half but they didn’t come out of the ravine.

“We went back to where we had left them, but couldn’t find them.”

The group made camp for the night.

On Tuesday morning, Vrey and Pieter Botes went to Ai-Ais to get help while Marius Rohlandt and his wife, Rentia, went back to where they had left the hikers.

The Rohlandts returned to Ai-Ais on Tuesday evening.

Children 'in a state'

On Wednesday, Rohlandt went with rangers to look for the missing three hikers but they didn’t find anything.

He fell during the search and hurt his arm.

In the three days that the hikers were missing, several hiking groups came out of the canyon, but no-one had seen them.

Catharine Teague, a friend of the Harmses, said she and the couple’s two daughters, Shana-Lee, 18, and Rolize, 17, only realised something had gone wrong on Tuesday evening when the couple didn’t come home.

They found out on Wednesday that the couple had not yet come out of the canyon. “The children were in a state,” said Teague.
Read more on:    namibia  |  southern africa  |  search and rescue

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.