Safety On The Mountain

Get the latest news and updates on whats happening on the mountain through the Facebook feeds to Wilderness Search & Rescue (WSAR), Mountain Club of SA and Table Mountain Watch.

The Vine highly recommends joining the Facebook group SANParks – Table Mountain National Park for the latest updates

Another great resource is the SAN Parks website.

Emergency Number: Wilderness Search & Rescue – 021 937 0300 (In case of an accident)

Get your guide to the best free family locator apps.

WSAR Facebook Feed

Mountain Club of SA Facebook Feed

Climber killed on Cape Town cliff face, 2020/01/12.

Tragedy as a well respected MCSA mountaineer dies in a climbing accident on Sunday.

25 members from the Mountain Club of South Africa Mountain Rescue team assisted in a large WSAR effort involving multiple organisations on Sunday afternoon at Muizenberg Crag.

The Western Cape Government Department of Heath - AMS Rescue helicopter inserted a Technical Rescue Climber and Metro Rescue ALS Paramedic.

Challenging weather conditions dictated a combined air and ground approach. A ground team hiked up the mountain to perform a rope-based technical cliff extraction where they moved the patient off the cliff face and to a more sheltered area, where the helicopter could fly the patient off the mountain.

The MCSA extends its deepest condolences to his family and all who knew him.

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Female spat in the eye by a snake at Waterval Boven rock climbing crag, 19/1/2. Last week a female in a group spending the holidays at the Waterval Boven rock climbing sport crags was spat in the face by a snake and got venom in the eye. She was assisted by bystanders to rinse her eye and helped to the nearby campground. She was then taken by ambulance to a hospital in Middleburg and later on transferred to Pretoria. Although MSAR was called and assisted remotely, it was faster to refer the call to paramedics from Swift Emergency Medical Services which sent an ambulance.

The snake was not identified but based on where it took place and snake activity in the general area it is likely that it was probably a Mozambique Spitting Cobra. It appears that shortly before the incident a climber cleaning a route in the immediate area saw a snake and backed away. A short while later a female that was walking on the path at the base of the cliff faces to re-join a group of climbers climbing at the crags was spat in the face and got venom in her eyes and mouth. She shouted for assistance.

Snakes generally avoid confrontation with humans and would in most cases silently slip away when becoming aware of approaching humans but we speculate that in this case the snake might have been trapped between the cliff face and the patient, felt threatened and defended itself by spitting.

Although it is fairly uncommon to hear of climbers being injured directly by snakes and other wildlife, it is one of the objective natural hazards that climber face, even when at crags such as this one which is in a peri-urban area close to roads, houses etc. where there is a fair amount of human activity. We, therefore, advise climbers be vigilant and remain aware of objective hazards such as wildlife, rockfall, quick-changing weather etc. when in the mountains. Inquire beforehand from locals with area knowledge about what hazards may be encountered and take whatever measures appropriate to avoid/limit your exposure to these hazards. The concept of "keeping your head on a swivel" is a useful analogy when in the mountains: look around you, up and down and remain aware of what happens around you at all times.

We also remind climbers to keep emergency contact details as well as medical aid/insurance details on your person when in the mountains but also with someone in your group that you trust. The value of your climbing partner keeping or having access to your personal details when you are incapacitated and need urgent evacuation cannot be stated enough.

For more information about snakes visit the African Snake Bite Institute's web site at we also recommend downloading their free snake bit app to your phone.

File photo of a Mozambique Spitting Cobra provided by: Johan Marais / African Snakebite Institute.

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A great photo of the Centurion lake hotel helicopter evacuation by Deaan Vivier (Chief the Pretoria photographer, Beeld/Media24/Foto24) 19-12-9. The photo shows an MSAR Rescuer assisting a person being hoisted into the SAAF 17 Squadron Oryx Helicopter as part of the evacuation of the hotel.

More about the floods here:

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Centurion Lake Hotel flood evacuation, 19-12-09. The MSAR Gauteng team supported the South African Air Force (SAAF) and SAPS in the evacuation of more than 50 guest and staff from the Centurion Lake hotel after it became surrounded by fast flowing flood water. Two rescuers (one technical rescuer and one Advanced Life Support Paramedic) assisted with the safe hookup to the helicopter hoist hook of the stranded persons who were then flown to a nearby field where the Off Road Rescue unit and emergency services assisted the guests further. The helicopters were dispatched form the SAAF 17 Squadron based at the nearby Swartkop Air Force Base.

The Mountain Club Rescuers, who normally work in mountain-related incidents, have specialist helicopter skills and benefit from the experience of regularly training with the Air Force. The flooding caused widespread disruption and property damage and several hundred people were displaced in Tshwane and surrounding areas and provinces. The overall response to the flooding was coordinated by the SA Police Service and Tshwane emergency services and involved several private and state emergency services. Several volunteer organisations such as as MSAR and the Off Road Rescue Unit were also involved.

Earlier the same day, MSAR also responded to two vehicles that were overcome by flooding water, endangering the lives of 5 occupants. Fortunately the incident was resolved by the SAPS and Tshwane Emergency services.

After the evacuation of the hotel the Oryx helicopter and MSAR Rescuers searched for an was successful in rescuing a man who was completely surrounded by fast flowing water in the Mamelodi area. He was clinging on to a utility pole and washed up debris.

With more rain expected over the area we caution everyone to not take chances with fast flowing water and streams and to treat all fast flowing water or any water more than 30cm deep with extreme caution. Please note that vehicles do not provide adequate protection against flooded streams and drifts - rather choose an alternative route or wait until the water has subsided to normal levels. Also be aware that rain upstream, even several kilometers away, will cause flooding downstream without any warning.

Photos: Thinus Rautenbach

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Table Mountain Watch Facebook Feed

So, legal begals, help me please. Technically Nic remains arrested right? Once you have laid hands on someone and begun the process only the public procecutor or a magistrate/judge can unarrest someone. Or sentence them. If you begin the process and stop, then the arrest is deemed unlawful and the defendant has a case against the organisation?

That's what we were taught at police academy... Or at least that's how I understood it

Am I wrong? Because if I'm not they have to open up a docket and get the matter to court. And Nic would have to taken to jail or be granted bail, soonest

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Still a problem or not?

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Amazing Rescue

Received a call for help with a missing dog at 2pm on Friday.

Put the message out on fb, Twitter and whatsapp groups mainly used to report criminal incidents

Various sightings through Saturday but nothing much until a one of the SANParks - Table Mountain National Park tactical rangers spotted him yesterday just after 2pm. Rusty was skittish and bolted. His owner searched again all afternoon and into the evening

Early thus morning at 5.30 he responded to his owners call. He'd stayed in the same area

Happy ending. Rusty is okay. Tired out and sleeping right now. So is his owner 😴 But Happy

A big thank you to V of SANParks!! You stayed on from the start. Always willing to go the extra 17 miles!!!

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