Man survives 80m fall

2012-01-10 11:18

Bloemfontein - A young man from Bultfontein in the Free State has miraculously survived an approximately 80m fall from a cliff onto a ledge and then further down into a crevice.

Francois de Ridder, 22, broke his neck, back and ribs and crushed his right ankle in the fall at Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape, but he was not paralysed.

He will probably be treated for some time in the Frere Hospital in East London before being transferred closer to home in the Free State, as it is feared that moving him now could cause permanent damage.

His father, Theuns, who rushed from Bultfontein to be with his family after the accident on Saturday, said they were grateful to the people of Bultfontein and Morgan Bay who were supporting them.

“At one stage there were six volunteer doctors on the accident scene.”


De Ridder jnr, his mother, Jeanette, and sister, Ella, were on holiday when he wanted to go fishing on Saturday morning.

He took his camera from his backpack to take a picture, slipped and fell about 65m down the slope onto a rock ledge.

He hit his head on a rock and lost consciousness.

The weight of his backpack dragged him off the ledge and he fell another 12m.

Fishermen who saw him fall rushed to help and a schoolgirl performed first aid until help arrived.

Rescue workers struggled for more than four hours to get him out.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • Kerry - 2012-01-10 11:30

    He is damn lucky he is not paralysed

  • Megan De Jager - 2012-01-10 11:36

    That dude is legend. We hope for a speedy recovery and all of the best

      Vernon - 2012-01-10 12:32

      He is so playing for the Bok's when he recovers...I think we have found someone harder than Burger !!

  • nchukana - 2012-01-10 11:40

    the guy is like a cat he survives 2 crushes at the same time

  • Muneer23 - 2012-01-10 11:41

    Wow ! now that's a miracle

  • Preshen - 2012-01-10 11:45

    he should of just used the zoom feature

      Monique - 2012-01-10 13:24

      Preshen...'should have or should've'

  • thabelorale - 2012-01-10 11:46

    He is the world's HARDEST man, damn! He deserves a prize!

  • TheSlip - 2012-01-10 11:48

    Ahem . . like a boss!

      Kala - 2012-01-10 12:07

      @TheSlip - Did you have something to do with this "accident"? "He took his camera from his backpack to take a picture, slipped"

      Donny Doncaster - 2012-01-10 19:16

      fell, like a boss survived, like a boss Haha

  • Shirley - 2012-01-10 12:08

    He had good luck all round! A school girl who knew first aid-how lucky is that! His gaurdian angel was working overtime! So nice to hear a positive outcome from what could of been fatal. Get well soon Francois and nice going to ALL who helped!

  • rventer13 - 2012-01-10 12:09

    Truly a miracle!

  • Israel - 2012-01-10 12:14

    Thanks to God for giving him a second chance in life..........

      Maverick82 - 2012-01-10 16:44


  • Jason - 2012-01-10 12:19

    Give that man a Bells!

      koo.doyle - 2012-01-10 12:57

      make it a double ;)

  • Alistair - 2012-01-10 13:00

    That is one tough guy! Speedy recovery young man!

  • nchukana - 2012-01-10 13:25

    when he tell someone that "I cheated death" he will be telling the whole truth

  • Ryan - 2012-01-10 14:06

    Now that is to show that anything an Aussie bungee jumper can do, he can do better... Get well soon.

  • Buck - 2012-01-10 14:39

    Question is "Is he tougher than Chuck Norris?"

  • Mark - 2012-01-10 15:40

    a_tough_constitution + compassion + professionalism = Good Luck

  • Grant - 2012-01-10 15:42

    Some people just dont get it!! "approximately 80-metre fall from a cliff onto a ledge and then further down into a crevice" vs " fell about 65 metres down the slope onto a rock ledge....dragged him off the ledge and he fell another 12 metres" So did he fall 80m and then some more, or did both falls combine to 80m? Its one or the other mr de Wet!

  • Neeus - 2012-01-10 19:54

    Did he get the photo? Sorry everyone couldn't resist again, will go and sit in the corner!

  • Neeus - 2012-01-10 19:57

    You can't break a dutchman!!! Get well soon buddy, you have a hell of a pub story to tell!

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