South Africans missing in Fish River Canyon

2011-07-21 16:37

Cape Town - Three South Africans have gone missing in an arid region of the Fish River Canyon after becoming separated from their group of friends.

The trio were part of a group of nine people, which included two guides. They left last Wednesday and were due to return on Monday this week.

According to Ilonka de Beer, from Pretoria, her mother Rene Booyse and Ricky and Sandra Harmse were hiking along a trail in the Ai Ais region in the Fish River Canyon with their four friends and the guides when they came to a boulder just 13km outside the exit gate from their resort.

De Beer said that her mother and the Harmses decided to go “around the boulder” while the others went over it and it was at the point that they became separated.

She said the group looked for their missing friends but did not find them. They went back to their resort - the Ai Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park - and later went back to look for them.

De Beer said she only found out on Tuesday that her mother was missing when she phoned Transfrontier Park. She said they hadn’t even launched a rescue operation at that point.

A rescue helicopter had been sent out earlier on Thursday, she said.

  • peter the gr - 2011-07-21 16:43

    Keep calme, the will find them !

  • wipi1 - 2011-07-21 16:47

    must be a huge boulder !!! and where were the guides at this point ? sounds fishy to me!!!! how do you go missing just like that and nowhere to be seen?

      Eric West - 2011-07-21 17:40

      Agreed! I smell a rat.

      Kappie - 2011-07-21 17:54

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha wipi1, my thoughts exactly

      Nico - 2011-07-21 19:20

      Have any of you guys walked the Fish River Canyon?

  • John - 2011-07-21 16:55

    It's almost impossible to get lost in the canyon. There is one way in and one way out. It is also almost impossible for 3 people to sustain any serious injury from a fall because there is no high point to fall off. Either they are very stupid or something sinister has happened to them.

      Daryl - 2011-07-21 17:11

      I disagree. Near the end of the hike, there are quite a few different directions you can walk for until you realise you are lost. You could walk for half a day in the wrong direction. And its quite possible to sustain an injury without falling from a height. Still... I'm not sure how they are missing for so long.

      Orcanda - 2011-07-21 17:40

      John in the Fishriver Canyon nothing is impossible. A child got lost there, never to be seen again. Have you ever been to the Fishriver Canyon?

      Orcanda - 2011-07-21 17:42

      By the way Namibia is not South Africa, we dont kill for fun or out of hatred like in South Africa, here people do care about each other, does not matter if you are black or white,if you are in need for help people will come together en help wherever they can.

      IndianaJones - 2011-07-21 23:49

      I agree. I smell a fishy story here drawing energy from the flood rescued people. That was real. If anything of this is true, I am waiting to see which people are going to be blamed first for blatant stupidity. Look at the reviews of the canyon. The best one is an Afrikaans article stating " hierdie is nie 'n roete wat jy met 'n skoolsak en piuenk tekkies behoort aan te pak nie

  • frankm - 2011-07-21 17:03

    Maybe they have been abducted by aliens? If it had happened in our "Bermuda Triangle" then I could understand it. Our Bermuda triangle being "Boksburg, Benoni and Brakpan"

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 17:05

      the 3rd force, or maybe they were nationalised

      Azizi - 2011-07-21 17:14

      Devils Son and frankm you are both real reprobates. If you are unable to comment on the article quietly move on.

  • ShakaN - 2011-07-21 17:05

    I have done this trail, at this time of the year and it gets freezing cold at night, my thoughts are with them.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-07-21 17:11

      chances are one is a smoker, they will have fire, and just hope they have watched enough ultimate survival, cos untrained thats about as good as it gets, and its plenty when pushed to do what you gotta do.

      Matthew Healing - 2011-07-21 17:26

      @devils son hope one of them remembers to drink there own urine, good source of vitamins and minerals if you can stomach it.

  • Zion - 2011-07-21 17:07

    How many of you guys have visited the Fish river Canyon. The whole area is dissected with stream beds terminating in the canyon. In some places the sheer walls of the canyon rise to what seems a hundred metres up. You go only once then cannot keep away.

  • RudiB - 2011-07-21 17:11

    Nice try, but "no cigar" News24 - there will be a happy ending to this story Unless you take the road at the causeway, it is virtually impossible to get lost.

  • The Who - 2011-07-21 17:16

    I've done this trail 16 times - there ARE some seriously big boulders... But I don't buy the story that they couldn't find them

      Grazy - 2011-07-21 17:45

      The boulders or the people?

  • Brian - 2011-07-21 20:50

    I suspect they were not in the Fish River Canyon itself - possibly in the Loewen River Canyon nearby

  • IndianaJones - 2011-07-21 23:34

    I Dont think they got lost in the canyon itself. The upper reaches from the lookoout point past rapids, tamarisk bush, wild fig bend and Jericho walls up to Palm springs tend to train you how to navigate the river. After Palm Springs the canyon starts to open up little by little and slowly lets you get used to the widening especially from Tafelberg uo to the beginning of Vasbyt bend. From here on the short cuts are on the order of the day. It is highly possible to mis the shortcut at three sisters by hugging the cliff. This is not a train smash but will definitely lengthen your stay in the canyon by at least a day. If you still mis the shortcut at Barbel pools again you can count on another 6 hours of sand slogging. Still no train smash because keeping the golden rule (follow the water) will eventually take you to the causeway and a daily visit by the farmer of the region (Renier Liebenberg) If sheer lack of preparation still haunts you and you miss the unmarked shortcut on bandage pass you will eventually find Fools gold, stink water and fish eagle Pools which will lead you to Ai-Ais. If they followed a dry river bed upstream I will seriously doubt the hike leaders ability to inform his crew on basics in the canyon. I think that we are not talking of getting lost in the canyon hike but rather someone getting lost on another trail in the region.

  • Jaaks - 2011-07-22 08:16

    I know the people who got lost and your story is factually very incorrect. The article is terribly written and creates huge misconceptions about the Fish River Canyon and the people who went missing. Shame on you News24. Research your stories properly before writing rubbish. Get the correct facts and retract this story!

      KaNdima - 2011-07-22 08:35

      So what IS the truth, Jaaks?

  • Rose&Thorn - 2011-07-22 10:14

    So glad I made it out okay. Still wonder if this is really the Fish River Canyon hike they are talking about and not another one in the area. If you read my story, and see the pictures to understand the area.

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