Lion's Head accident: Six-hour rescue mission for hiker who fell 50 metres down

2019-04-09 17:54
The Table Mountain cable car with a Lion's Head in the background. (Supplied)

The Table Mountain cable car with a Lion's Head in the background. (Supplied)

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An injured hiker was saved on Lion's Head in Cape Town after a marathon six-hour rescue operation on Saturday evening, according to Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR).

The rescue mission took place on Saturday. WSAR was activated after a report that an injured hiker was stuck near the summit of Lion's Head.

The 25-year-old man, identified as Jake Read, was spotted by a medical doctor who happened to be hiking nearby. According to WSAR, the doctor remained with Read while relaying information to the incident commander in the area which begins in Signal Hill Road.

Read reportedly slipped 50 metres onto a ledge and suffered from a severe back injury when he was found. The injury affected his ability to move until the doctor spotted him.

"A rapid response team, consisting of metro medical rescue technicians, rescue mountaineers and rescue climbers, were the first rescuers to reach the scene and they confirmed that the injuries were of a serious nature," WSAR said in a statement.

"Helicopter response was not possible as the sun had already set. The hiker was packaged into a stretcher after which a lengthy manual carry ensued," the rescue unit said.

The trek down lasted six hours where after Read was carried to a 4x4 vehicle and transported to an awaiting ambulance. 

Jake's sister, Lulu Read, took to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon to express her gratitude to the support the family had received over the last couple of days.

She also provided an update on Jake's condition: "His breathing is now stable and he is conscious. His brain is completely there and he can move his arms," she wrote.

"His spinal damage is very severe. All anyone can do now is be positive and send love… From my entire family, I'd like to express my utmost gratitude for all the love."

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