Boulder SMASHES three hikers’ legs in Stellenbosch

Boulder SMASHES three hikers’ legs in Stellenbosch

On Sunday, 5 February, seven hikers embarked on a morning trip into the mountain kloofs above Banhoek, near Stellenbosch, when tragedy struck.

After spending the night in the mountains, the group trekked, abseiled, jumped, and waded down the steep river valley of Volstruiskloof on Sunday.

After halting for lunch, they observed a big group of anxious and inquisitive baboons above them, but they resumed their descent anyhow.

While two party members abseiled 55 meters from a pool in the midst of a waterfall, a 60-kilogram boulder struck the narrow ledge where the remaining five hikers were standing.

On impact, the boulder exploded, sending shrapnel flying and injuring three hikers.

Additionally, a woman suffered significant injuries after falling 10 meters while hiking Lion’s head.

One of the hikers suffered a leg fracture, and another had an open cut.

Another hiker was struck by a boulder and nearly fell over a precipice, but a safety rope attached to his harness prevented him from falling.

The falling rocks, which were believed to have been loosened by baboons, continued to fall.

The group of hikers came together to comfort the injured, warm them with sleeping bags, and seek shelter from the boulders.

In a single day, two mountain rescues were conducted.

Despite limited service, one member makes an SOS call.

Despite the limited range of his cellphone, a hiker made an SOS call.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) / Air Mercy Service (AMS) helicopter of the Western Cape Department of Health was activated.

Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) personnel were on board.

When the WSAR crew reached the mountain gorge, they descended to the patients on the narrow ledge.

They loaded the patient with the most severe injuries onto a stretcher and flew him to a nearby landing zone, then used rescue harnesses to pull the remaining two patients from the ledge.

Three hikers were injured when a boulder struck a cliff and burst, throwing rocks in their direction. Image: Wilderness Search and Rescue

Ambulances transported all three individuals to the hospital for additional care.

The rescue squad remained on standby as the remaining four hikers descended the kloof.

The rescue team praised the two uninjured hikers for maintaining their composure and doing an outstanding job caring for the injured.

One of the injured passengers stated, “This was the third time I’ve been down this kloof, but the first time I’ve seen or heard baboons up there.”

»Boulder SMASHES three hikers’ legs in Stellenbosch«

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