Dramatic gorge rescue

2014-02-17 00:00

ROCK climber Dylan Williams (19) was rescued by teams of mountaineers and paramedics after he fell down Kloof Gorge on Saturday.

The accident occurred at the cliff known as “The Canyon” on the north side of the main Kloof Gorge. The Canyon is an area of difficult sport routes, and is a popular cliff among local climbers.

Williams fell while lead-climbing a route and there was a problem with the belay system, which failed to stop him hitting the ground, the Mountain Club of South Africa (MSCA) said yesterday.

The club had received a call for assistance from Williams’s climbing partner at 4.45 pm on Saturday.

Nine MCSA Search and Rescue members were scrambled to the scene.

They included an advanced life support paramedic from provincial Emergency and Rescue Services and a Mountain Club doctor. The team was later joined by SAPS Search and Rescue, and Rescue Care members.

At the time of the call out, it appeared that Williams had chest and arm injuries.

Rescue Care paramedics operations director Garrith Jamieson said they were called to the Kloof Gorge after 4 pm on Saturday.

He said the patient had fallen about 15 metres before landing on the ground.

The paramedic and doctor, along with an MCSA climber, abseiled down the cliff to the patient.

It was suspected that the climber had also sustained lower back injuries.

Williams was hoisted up the cliff on a stretcher using a rope-hauling system that had to be arranged in a technically difficult area in a narrow access gully. He was taken to Hillcrest Hospital.

“It is unclear what caused the young man to fall, but he was fortunately with friends who were able to raise the alarm for help,” said Jamieson.

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