Woman airlifted to hospital from northern ’Berg

2010-06-25 00:00

A 20-YEAR-old Pretoria woman who fell ill while on holiday in the Drakensberg was airlifted to hospital in Pietermaritzburg yesterday afternoon.

Dominique Louw fell ill while she and 11 others were walking on Stimela Ridge, which is at about 3 200 metres above sea level, in the northern Drakensberg at about 11 am. It is believed she suffered a rupture of her lower abdomen.

Gavin Raubenheimer of the Mountain Club of South Africa Search and Rescue team said Louw was in severe pain.

The operation, at about 4 pm, was conducted by four members of the Mountain Club of South Africa Search and Rescue, 15 Squadron of the SA Air Force and a paramedic from the provincial ambulance service. An Air Force Oryx helicopter airlifted her to Oribi Airport and she was taken by KwaZulu-Natal provincial ambulance to St Anne’s Hospital.

“We were contacted by the leader of the team, Malcolm Dunkeld, about the woman’s condition. I then contacted the provincial ambulance service and the SAAF. Where they were walking there was a little bit of snow,” Raubenheimer said.

It was not clear how serious Louw’s medical condition is because St Anne’s Hospital was not in a position to talk to The Witness yesterday evening.

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