Cyclist survives 12m fall

2011-09-27 10:00

George - A cyclist who fell about 12 metres into the water from a bridge during the Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday, says it is a miracle that he survived.

Marius Louw, managing director of Du Toitskloof wines in Paarl, was one of 3 500 participants who took part in the 100km race between Uniondale and Knysna.

Louw said on Monday the incident happened about 35km after the start on a long downhill stretch. He took his eyes from the road for just a second after taking an energy sachet from a bag.

“I wanted to put back the bag and looked down. That’s when I fell.”

15cm deep water

He fell between a bridge railing and a cliff. “I landed on top of my bike, on my back in the water. The water was about 15cm deep. There was a backpack on my back that helped to break my fall.”

Louw had only praise for local emergency workers like Deon van Wyk, who helped him.

“It was a blessing. Deon suggested that the AMS metro helicopter be called. The Lord was good to me.”

AMS spokesperson Venessa Horn said the helicopter could land about 100 metres from the spot where Louw had fallen. He was put on a stretcher and taken to George Medi-Clinic.

There were initial fears that he had injured his neck, said George Schutte, manager of George Medi-Clinic on Monday. “Louw was lucky. He sustained scratches and only hurt his left knee.”

Louw was discharged on Monday. He said he knew the route and it was the second time he had taken part in the race.

Sue Fitzpatrick, chairperson of the organising committee and president of the Knysna Lions, said there were no big crises during the race. “People fell but it happens.”

  • Bardy - 2011-09-27 10:03

    Ag please! I can dive into 5 cm of water from a 50m height. What so special about this guy?

      VivaANC - 2011-09-27 10:23

      @Bardy you must slow down on the Brandy....

      Tolerant - 2011-09-27 11:11

      He survived, you lost your mind at least.

      Enigma - 2011-09-27 11:24

      @VivaANC-Bardy is saving water...go on Bardy have another one on me.

      Bardy - 2011-09-27 11:36


      SalesMon - 2011-09-27 11:51

      Bardy, please post your "50m fall into 5cm water" efforts on youtube? The last time I looked, 12m was a pretty big drop ...

      rexie28 - 2011-09-27 11:59

      @ SalesMon - WHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I would DIE to see that youtube video. And Bardy you're welcome to use 5cm of brandy ;)

      Acido - 2011-09-27 12:11

      Twelve meters equals at least four storeys - if the initial velocity was 0 km/h, he would have hit the water at a speed of just more than 55 km/h. Surviving such a fall without injury is pretty amazing! From a 50 m height only a dash of green-acid Bardy-splat would be visible in the 5cm water, which you would have hit at a speed of 112.7 km/h. Seems like you are suffering from egotism linked to commentitis and itchy-finger syndrome...

      Bardy - 2011-09-27 12:14

      @ Pieter. Little Tuesday humor never hurt anyone!

      Bardy - 2011-09-27 12:18

      Thank you for your high school physics insight Dr Acido. Much appreciated!

      Acido - 2011-09-27 12:35

      Real pleasure Bardy, I also enjoy Tuesday humour! Very happy though that it was not my back lying on the mountain bike in 15 cm water...

      Bardy - 2011-09-27 12:52

      To right @ Acido! Why did they measure the depth anyway? I don't think that 15cm of water would have broken his fall in any way in any case. Why bring that up then? Stupid really.

      Jaco - 2011-09-27 12:59

      Sorry Bardy, you did not survive the dive from 50m into 5cm of water - you have permanent brain damage!

      Acido - 2011-09-27 13:26

      @Bardy - most likely to stress the severity of the situation (and be factually correct). I agree with you - 15 cm of water would have had very little effect on breaking the fall. Now if you land face down in 15 cm with broken bones, etc., it could be somewhat detrimental to your continued existence on this planet...

  • farmworker - 2011-09-27 10:06

    Ok, what speed were you doing?

      Pete OJ - 2011-09-27 11:02

      More likely; "what kind of speed were you doing?"

  • IC1 - 2011-09-27 10:09

    The should get the minister of transport to reduce the speed limit on bicycle races LMFAO

  • Darwinian - 2011-09-27 10:46

    Think Bike...... hehehehehehehehe

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-27 11:17

      Think, bike!

      Francois - 2011-09-27 11:38

      Or in this case, crash

  • Enigma - 2011-09-27 11:12

    Now it's time for him to appreciate life and his family everyday. He needs to thank his maker the Almighty for this narrow death escape.

  • Agent Bastad - 2011-09-27 11:18

    I wanted to say something nasty, but then I remembered mountain bikers are nice people. It's the road cyclists I can't stand. I hope he feels better soon.

  • Kevin - 2011-09-27 11:28

    It's difficult to comprehend how this all happened, can someone post the co-ords so that I can check out the site of the accident on Google Earth. I am glad you survived Marius, but remember now you only have 8 (or maybe fewer) lives left. Enjoy the rest of your lives mate.

      Pieter Toerien - 2011-09-27 13:27

      Actually easy to comprehend. It is a twisty downhill dirt road not wide enough in all places for 2 cars, there is no shoulder or barrier - thus one turn wrong and you are iether off the cliff or into the cliff. Speeds in excess of 70km/h is reached and only in the very tight corners does it come down to about 45km/h. Marius is extremely lucky! The water and his hydration-pack most likely saved his life. Marius-Get well soon and see you again next year.

  • 1eye - 2011-09-27 11:29

    Well it took about 1.2 seconds and he was doing about 50km per hour when he hit the deck

  • Joe - 2011-09-27 11:30

    Why did god make him fall in the first place?

      Francois - 2011-09-27 11:39

      Because the chicken crossed the road?

      chris van rensburg - 2011-09-27 12:01

      Do not blame his fall on God!Rather ask the question for what reason did God save him?

      Enigma - 2011-09-27 12:28

      Good one Francois, you deserve a shot from Bardy's brandy. Sorry dude it's not Bells but I'm sure Klippies will also do so long....LOL

  • Malcop - 2011-09-27 13:37

    Thank goodness the cyclist never blamed the cliff or the bridge, or the organisers. Its normally par for the course with these cyclists.

  • pages:
  • 1