Kloof­ing Dutch tourist res­cued

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SAPA

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

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