Body found on Table Mountain as lockdown exercise laws relaxed

(André Damons)
(André Damons)
  • Hikers were urged not to walk alone even though social distancing is required, after a body was found on Table Mountain on Monday. 
  • Wilderness Search and Rescue were alerted to a body lying near Nursery Ravine on the mountain. 
  • During Level 3 lockdown people can exercise between 6:00 and 18:00, but there is concern about safety while "social distancing" on hikes.

A body was found on Table Mountain on Monday, prompting the Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) group to advise hikers to be careful while out on trails and to abide by Covid-19 regulations including physical distancing.

"Even though social distancing is required, please do not walk/hike alone in the wilderness areas," urged WSAR spokesperson Johan Marais on Tuesday. 

READ | Large quantities of PPEs earmarked for KZN schools have 'disappeared'

The volunteer rescue organisation received a call at 16:30 on Monday from a person who had spotted a person lying on the mountain. 

"The first response was to send a hasty team entering the reserve from Constantia Nek and following the Jeep track into the back of Table Mountain," said Marais. 

"Once the body had been found and it was established beyond doubt that the person was deceased, WSAR in conjunction with the [SA Police Service] commenced the process of gathering evidence on scene after which the body was packaged."

According to Marais, the victim was a man, approximately 60-years-old, who fell on Monday.

The person who reported the incident heard falling rocks and upon investigation, saw the man's body.

Darkness

The position of the body and the darkness postponed the retrieval mission to Tuesday morning.

Early morning mist caused a further delay, and eventually an AMS helicopter contracted to the department of health in the Western Cape brought the body down to a landing zone in the Newlands forest. 

ALSO READ | Covid-19: Can I be with my child if they are in a quarantine facility?

A technical rescuer and a paramedic accompanied the helicopter crew. 

WSAR said Claremont police would conduct an investigation and further information on how long the body had been there, and who it was, was not immediately available.

"We mourn the death of a person on the first day of the opening of the mountain in terms of the pandemic regulations," said Marais.

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