International tourists rescued

24 December 2022:

Report from Wilderness Search & Rescue (WSAR). Image credit: Mountain Club of South Africa:


A foreign hiker, said to be in her 60s, fell while walking back to the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve parking lot above Franschhoek on Saturday afternoon.

She had set our earlier in the day and while descending, stumbled and injured her ankle.A call for assistance was made after she was unable to hike any further.

Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) teams were activated and the Western Cape Department of Health EMS / Air Mercy Service (AMS) rescue helicopter was called on for assistance. She was treated on scene before being hoisted into the helicopter. She was later transported to hospital by ambulance.


A 41-year-old foreign hiker fell and injured her knee after visiting the Cecilia Waterfall above Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, on Saturday afternoon.

According to those on scene, she had been descending the trail when she tripped and fell awkwardly, hitting her knee on a rock.

WSAR teams hiked to the patient.

After an assessment was completed, a decision was taken to request the assistance of the Western Cape Department of Health EMS /AMS rescue helicopter.

Once treated, she was packaged into a stretcher and hoisted up into the helicopter. She was later transported to hospital by ambulance.

Ian Austin, the on-scene rescue coordinator, praised the helicopter crew for their expert flying in challenging conditions.

Austin said: “Having access to a resource like Skymed 1 is a game-changer for our patients in the Western Cape. She (the foreign hiker) was in a lot of pain and would have had to endure a long stretcher carry to get off the mountain.”

Of the flying conditions, Austin said: “These weren’t the best conditions for flying, its windy and it’s been raining intermittently, but we trust the crews to make the safest decision.”

David Nel, a spokesperson for WSAR, said: “We’re expecting large numbers of visitors to our wilderness areas over the festive season, and we urge all wilderness enthusiasts to exercise care. Plan appropriately, respect the environment, carry more water than you need, and save our emergency contact number 021 937 0300 to their phones.”

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