Cape Town - The bodies of a female foreign tourist and a local male guide were retrieved early on Tuesday morning from the site of an abseiling accident on Table Mountain, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) said.
"We only finished at 06:00 this morning. We took the bodies off the mountain, using the cable car," said WSAR spokesperson Johann Marais.
READ: Two dead in Table Mountain climbing incident
"We were able to extract the surviving female off the mountain last night, making use of the cable car as a rigging point from which to abseil."
The sole survivor, also a foreign tourist, was taken straight to hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries was not yet known.
Marais said that after rescuing the female survivor, the cable car was then put back into use to bring down the approximately 800 tourists who had been left stranded on the mountain during the rescue operation.
The cable car company sent people up the mountain, on foot, to reopen the restaurant, where those stranded could wait and receive refreshments.
Everyone was brought back to the base by 02:00 and the cable car was then used to extricate the bodies.
The gender of the two people who died, was clarified by Marais on Tuesday, as previously it was thought that they were both men.
He said the exact circumstances of the accident, which took place on Monday afternoon, were not yet clear.
"They were abseiling and were each tied to the rope and all three of them fell the (full) length of the safety rope…There was no more rope."
We are open. Temperature at the top is mild, wind strength is medium, visibility good #tmweather— Table Mountain C/Way (@TableMountainCa) January 2, 2018
Never underestimate the dangers of climbing and hiking. Many people I bump into in our mountains are woefully unprepared. #TableMountain https://t.co/p7W2raEgtC— Andrew@Eighty20 (@AndrewKFulton) January 2, 2018
well done to all the visitors #TableMountain being patient and calm and working along with authorities You all are just as much a part of this operation and in the Spirt #CapeTown #SouthAfrica2018 @WSARWesternCape @TableMountainCa @TableMountainNP @WCHEMS— Mountain Safety (@SafetyMountain) January 1, 2018
So after being stranded up Table Mountain we made the descent ( in my Birkenstocks) and boy was it scary. pic.twitter.com/YnTyR5onSH— Fiona Domkowicz (@fionadomkowicz) January 1, 2018
#TableMountain #MountainRescue operation #WSAR— Mountain Safety (@SafetyMountain) January 1, 2018
(CPT photographer Robert Miller credit @WSARWesternCape @WCHEMS @TableMountainNP pic.twitter.com/4a7YHoqmzI
Wilderness Search & Rescue #TableMountain rescuer doing cpr on patient on cliff pic.twitter.com/lPiyoWlj6T— Hanti Otto (@HantiO) January 1, 2018