Boy airlifted to hospital following dramatic rescue after falling 50m at Karkloof Falls

2018-12-13 11:48

Paramedics and community members were involved in a dramatic rescue on Wednesday after a teenage boy who was on an outing with friends, fell down the Karkloof Falls in Howick. 

A Netcare specialised helicopter ambulance was summoned to airlift the injured boy to hospital. The rescue lasted close to three hours.

The 14-year-old boy reportedly slipped on a rock and fell down one of the falls while swimming with a group of friends. Paramedics said he fell about 50 metres.

The boy from Pietermaritzburg is said to had been visiting friends in Howick when the incident occurred.

 Justin Lagesse, who witnessed the accident and jumped in to help the youngster, described the incident as intense.

"We had been doing some rock jumping on the other side. When we were coming back for some lunch, some of the kids were in front of me and they were sort of hanging around the edge. One of them just got too close to the edge and it is very slippery there.

"I am surprised more people haven’t actually fallen over there. I nearly slipped myself."

Lagesse said after the boy fell, he jumped into the water and made sure that the teenager did not submerge. He was helped by one of the mothers who was also at the scene. “You could see he was bleeding. I made sure that I got there as quickly as possible. Fortunately, he seems to have come through fairly well,” he said.

Lagesse said the boy had suffered scratches to his body and he saw a gash on his head.

"We were just trying to keep him awake. He said he was tired and that he wanted to sleep."

Hero of the day Howick local Justin Lagesse saw the boy fall and was the first to come to his rescue.

After moving him to a safer place they had stood around him to ensure that he was shaded from the sun.

Bystanders looked on as the boy was attended by paramedics and then airlifted to safety. They clapped in relief as the helicopter eventually left with the injured teen.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said paramedics had found the young boy lying on some rocks at the bottom of the falls.

"Paramedics made their way down to the boy and quickly assessed him, finding that he had sustained numerous injuries and was in a serious condition.

"The boy was treated for his injuries and provided with pain-relief medication.

"After treatment, a private medical helicopter landed near the patient and, after a short time, airlifted the boy to Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg," he said.

Paramedics, bystanders and friends carry a 14-year-old boy to the helicopter after his fall on Wednesday.

A family friend on scene did not want to comment on the incident on Wednesday. The boy’s parents were not at the scene but were notified to meet him at the hospital.

In October The Witness reported on another accident in which a young Howick couple, Mar-Louise (29) and Andre Pretorius (31), survived after they fell 35 metres from the Karkloof Falls.

READ: Couple grateful for support after slipping at Karkloof Falls

The couple were with their three-year-old son who the mother managed to save from certain death before she and her husband fell. The family had been spending the day at the falls with friends.

Andre was reported to have been taking photographs and slipped as he took a step back. Mar-Louise, who was carrying their son, also followed but managed to quickly hand her three-year-old son to a friend.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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