Kloofing Dutch tourist rescued
TOUR operator guiding two Dutch tourists involved in a rescue at the Knysna National Parks forest on Monday did not have a permit for kloofing, SA National Parks (SANParks) said yesterday.
“We never issue permits for kloofing,” SANParks spokeswoman Nandi Mgwadlamba said. “We don’t allow kloofing there at all. But local tour operators do this when rangers are not watching.”
Kloofing involves following a mountain river and floating, jumping and swimming in its course. Mgwadlamba did not release the operator’s name. On Monday, a Dutch tourist was injured in the park when he jumped into a rock pool. The 31-yearold orthopaedic surgeon from Amsterdam was hiking with his partner, a GP.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Knysna station commander Jerome Simonis said the man was thought to have fractured his spine. “While Drupkelders is a relatively short hiking trail of only 3.6km, it involves vertical cliff traversing making it a barely accessible and remote area,” he said.
“They stayed where they were not wanting to move the injured man fearing compli-
AThe man was put on to a floating basket stretcher
cating the injury.”
The guide hiked a cliff trail to a higher spot for a cellphone signal to call for help.
When paramedics, rescuers and the NSRI arrived, the guide met them and they hiked a steep cliff, about 1km, to the Goukamma River.
“From there, six NSRI Knysna rescue swimmers, accompanied by the river guide, swam upstream searching for the two hikers,” said Simonis.
“The swim upstream involved numerous waterfalls. A kilometre upstream, the two hikers were found with the injured man in a serious condition.”
The man was put on to a floating basket stretcher and floated downstream. Special care had to be taken down the numerous waterfalls.
The police and paramedics were waiting downstream. Paramedics treated the man on scene before a rope-and-pulley system was used to haul the stretcher up a steep cliff to the parking area.
“A Medlife ambulance took the man to hospital,” said Simonis. His name could not be released until his family overseas had been alerted.
“SANParks wishes to warn the public against kloofing in Drupkelders and surrounds,” Mgwadlamba said. – Sapa