Weekend of drama on Cape Mountains
It’s been a busy weekend for the Cape Town Western Cape Department of EMS/AMS rescue helicopter.
Late Friday afternoon around 17:00 (20th February 2015) the rescue helicopter was dispatched to the Cederberg mountains. One Canadian female patient was seriously injured after falling 8 meters. The patient who sustained multiple fractures was hoisted and airlifted to Vincent Palotti Hospital in a critical but stable condition.
On Saturday (21 February) the rescue helicopter was dispatched just after 07:00 am to Lions Head. It was reported that a female patient, approximately 30 years of age dislocated her knee on top of Lion’s Head while hiking. The windy weather conditions made the rescue very tricky. The patient was hoisted in a baumann bag to the landing zone at Kloofnek parking and transported via the Western Cape Department of Health EMS road ambulance to Cape Town Mediclinic.
Later the morning, just after 11:00 the rescue helicopter was dispatched to India Venster to rescue a 61 year old male patient who had a badly sprained ankle. Rescuers were inserted and lowered to the patient. The patient was hoisted off the mountain and transported by road ambulance to Cape Town Mediclinic. The rescue was technically very challenging as the patient was located in a difficult position on the mountain and very close to the cable car.
On Sunday, 22 February at approximately 14:00 the rescue helicopter was dispatched to Porcupine Ravine, Camps Bay side of Table Mountain. It was reported that two patient’s one male and one female in their sixties fell between 5-8 metres while hiking with a group. Rescuers were inserted and lowered to the patients. Both patients were hoisted off the mountain after being assessed and packaged by the paramedic and technical rescuer. The patients was airlifted to Camps Bay sportsfield which served as the landing zone and handed over to METRO ground ambulance. The male patient sustained lacerations to the leg and the female patient sustained possible rib and abdominal injuries. Both patients were transported in a stable condition to Christian Barnard Hospital.
Upon completing the rescue in Camps Bay, the Western Cape Department of Health EMS /AMS rescue helicopter returned to base for refuelling and immediately thereafter departed to assist with a body recovery of a male patient in Cape Point. The rescue helicopter inserted rescuers to the patient but unfortunately had to return to base due to strong windy conditions. The course of the incident is still unknown at this stage.
Our thoughts are with the patients and family of the deceased. Thank you to all the air and ground rescue teams for your assistance.
Images courtesy: Jonathan Groenewald, AMS Emergency Care Practitioner