SA surgeon dies in river during hike in Alaska

2012-07-30 00:00

AN adventurous South African surgeon died in the woods of Alaska after he slid in a steep valley and landed in a river.

Dr Cornel Grobler (38), of Pretoria, was on a hike with a friend from Norway, Olaf Schjoll, when the accident happened in the Brooks mountains last Wednesday.

The two were walking along the Canadian border to the Bering Sea.

Using a satellite phone, Schjoll contacted the American Coast Guard who tried but could not retrieve Grobler’s body by helicopter. Hikers are making their way to the remote spot to retrieve his body.

Friends from South Africa confirmed his death. Grobler was a pupil at Waterkloof High School and graduated from the University of Pretoria. In 1999 he became the first South African to walk in the footsteps of the Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen over Greenland.

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