PICS: Rescue team 'put own lives on line' to save Stellenbosch student

2016-07-11 11:44
Captain Donovan Kohl from AMS lowers the helicopter into Second Waterfall Ravine outside Stellenbosch to rescue student Ivan Pauw. (Matthew Young, WSAR)

Captain Donovan Kohl from AMS lowers the helicopter into Second Waterfall Ravine outside Stellenbosch to rescue student Ivan Pauw. (Matthew Young, WSAR)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - In a daring rescue, a helicopter descended into a deep ravine in the Jonkershoek Mountains in Stellenbosch on Friday to airlift a hiker who had broken several bones in a fall.

A team from Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) spent the night under the spray of Second Waterfall Ravine with Ivan Pauw, 20, a Stellenbosch University student, after they were dispatched on Thursday evening. They found him after a search of about two hours and stabilised him at the scene.

"Words cannot describe how grateful I am," his mother, Karien, told Netwerk24 on Sunday. "All praises to the rescue team who put their own lives on the line to save him."

Ivan is currently recovering in the Stellenbosch Mediclinic.

The WSAR team rigged a rescue system to get Pauw to a more accessible place for the AMS helicopter to hoist him out.

The search started on Thursday evening at 20:00 when Pauw failed to return from his hike. 

According to Johan Marais from WSAR, officials from the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve found Pauw's car when the reserve was closing for the night, and saw his route and his emergency contact numbers displayed on the dashboard. That made it easier for the WSAR team, lead by Donny Dunn, to find him.

He had fallen 10m - 20m, Marais said. 

"We gave him a light anaesthetic for the pain and moved him to a more comfortable spot and kept him warm," Dr Matthew Young told Netwerk24.

He was finally hoisted out of Second Waterfall Ravine at about 11:30 on Friday morning.

Ivan himself had high praise for his rescuers.

"If it weren't for those guys, I would not have been alive," he told Netwerk24. "The rescue was very impressive. I actually wanted to help them but I couldn't move. You should have seen the chopper move into that tight squeeze!"

His mother said he was operated on on Friday and the recovery process would be long and slow.

(AMS via Facebook)

(AMS via Facebook)
Read more on:    cape town  |  search and rescue  |  good news

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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 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.