Tourist (14) falls in Berg

2009-03-31 00:00

A 14-year-old British tourist had to be airlifted to hospital after she slipped, fell and hit her head against a rock while hiking in the Royal Natal park in the Berg yesterday afternoon.

According to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesman Jeff Gaisford, the girl suffered a serious injury on a trail that leads to a gorge, four to five hours from the main offices of the park.

“One of our employees went out with a locally-based helicopter because it would have taken too long to get out there on foot,” he said. “Luckily, he’s a qualified medical practitioner. He was able to stabilise her at the scene.”

They then called in an air force helicopter from Durban to help transport her to a safe pick-up zone for paramedics.

Netcare911 paramedics then transported her to the La Verna hospital in Ladysmith for treatment.

Netcare911 spokesman Chris Botha said that “fortunately a very competent medic from KZN wildlife was available and able to stabilise the patient”.

He said the girl initially lost consciousness, but was “doing very well” at the hospital by yesterday evening. “They’ll probably keep her there overnight for observation.”

Gaisford said visitors to the park should be extra-cautious when out on nature trails. “Be careful where you put your feet. You can tramp on a loose rock and hurt yourself.”

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