Safety warning after hiker falls to her death

2015-04-02 14:02


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Cape Town - Rescue workers have warned Easter weekend holidaymakers to take extra caution after a Gauteng woman fell to her death when she and her husband got lost on a hiking trip in the Overberg.

"People should be requested to stay and not try to climb up or down places where they wouldn't normally venture into without experienced climbers and climbing gear," Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) spokesperson Johann Marais told News24.

"Rather be safe and if you are in any way in doubt of your position [on the mountain], call the provincial emergency number for assistance."

He said if anyone found themselves off the foot path and lost, they should call for assistance rather than taking matters into their own hands.

Greyton hiker death

This warning was followed by the death of a 57-year-old woman who was found on Abdul's Kop mountain in Greyton, Western Cape, on Wednesday evening.

Her body was found around 17:40 following a two-day search by a team of about 15 to 20 rescuers, Marais said.

She had gone on a mid-morning walk on the mountain with her husband on Monday. As they were preparing return home, the couple lost track of the foot path they were on and could not find their way back. 

"They must have taken a wrong turn," Marais said.

The couple separated when the husband tried to find an alternative way of getting off the mountain.

"He managed to get down [to a lower level] safely but told his wife it was too dangerous for her to come down. They carried on walking in the same direction, but on different levels."

Marais said the couple kept contact by calling out to each other and using their cellphones.

Fatal fall

"At some point the husband fell and was unconscious for some time. She then tried to go down the mountain to reach him, that is the point where she fell and was fatally injured. When he came to, he found himself on a ledge. When he tried to call his wife and couldn't reach her, he started calling for help."

Search and rescue teams were alerted and the man was found on a ledge on Monday around 9pm, but could only be moved the following day at day break.

He was airlifted from the scene and told rescuers he could not reach his wife.

Her body was found in a crevice.

The Cape Times named the couple as Mary and Billy Long, from Gauteng.

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