Instincts save tour operator from gun attack

2013-11-20 12:59

Cape Town – It was pure instinct that saved the life of a well-known Grabouw tour operator when a gunman tried to shoot him in the head on Sunday night.

The Cape Argus reports that Brian Pickering, owner of Nature Discovery Tours, had been at his cottage at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club when he heard strange noises outside and went to investigate.

He was completely unprepared for the hostile attack that awaited: a man with a gun aimed right at him. The attacker fired an initial shot, which fortunately missed its target and took aim for a second.

Once again Pickering managed to escape unscathed when the bullet hit his wristwatch and ricocheted off his arm.

It was, however, on the third shot that Pickering’s sharp instincts kicked in and saved his life. Pickering described how the attacker pinned him to the ground, pressing the gun against his temple.

As the gunman pulled the trigger, he whipped his head sideways, allowing the bullet to hit him in the neck, missing all vital body parts as it exited.

He cited his experiences with the British Army’s Royal Fusiliers in Cyprus, Malaysia and Borneo, among other war zones as a possible source for his instinctual reaction.

Friends of Pickering expressed their shock and sympathy on his Facebook page, one message reading: "Thinking about you .. keeping you in y prayers .. speedy recovery."

A farmer and pioneer of Organic Agriculture, Pickering now runs Nature Discovery Tours in the Elgin Valley. They offer a wide array of activities including motorcycle tours, Segway activities, wine bus tours and Cape Fynbos tours.

They are situated on the western slopes of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, only 70km outside of Cape Town.

Read more on:    travel  |  travel south africa

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