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

Notice regarding Mountain Rescue during the COVID-19 lockdown

We are all aware how Public Health guidelines have urged the public to 'flatten the curve' of the COVID 19 virus, and our President's announcement of lockdown is a welcomed show of courageous leadership that South Africa needs at this time.

The Mountain Club of SA's Search and Rescue teams support this approach categorically.


1) If engaging in some last minute pursuits this week, please engage in ultra-low-risk activities only. Please also respect closures already in place by SAN Parks and Ezemvelo.

2) Please respect the lockdown un conditionally.

Because it is the right thing to do.
...and accidents do happen, no matter how expert you think you may be.
The MCSA's search and rescue team make themselves available because we believe in the value of responsible enjoyment of the wilderness, and in supporting our outdoor colleagues and community.

Where life and limb is at stake, our members may still come to your aid.
HOWEVER, during this crisis:
- Healthcare infrastructure must be reserved for only the most critical, necessary cases.
- Your own exposure to the virus will be significantly higher while being rescued and receiving healthcare.
- Our search and rescue volunteers are not 'essential healthcare workers'. Don't be selfish!

If our members must respond to a call out during the lockdown period, they invalidate their and their family's quarantine activities during this critical time and that may have an impact on their ability to return to work.
- S&R response may in fact be limited - our approach to incident management will be to coach and support self-rescue, or to send minimum-team responses.

We look forward to a time soon where we can all enjoy our wilderness and natural areas together, assured of the safety and well being of our loved ones at home.

Thank you.

MCSA Search & Rescue

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2 months ago

Mountain Club of SA - Search And Rescue

Search and rescue operation and subsequent recovery of light aircraft pilot in the Umkhomazi river valley (KZN), 20-03-15. On Sunday 15 March 2020 the MSAR KZN team supported the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) -lead search and rescue operation of a pilot that was tragically killed in a light aircraft accident that happened during a canoe marathon on the Umkhomazi River. The alarm was raised when the crash of the light aircraft was witnessed by participants in the canoe marathon and the ARCC was activated. Tragically the pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft did not survive the high deceleration forces of the crash.

MSAR members were flown with a private helicopter to a JOC (Joint Operations Center) which was set up at a location upstream from the crash site. MSAR joined members from various organisations to form a "team of teams". This included private paramedics, SAPS SAR and Airwing members and a SAPS helicopter. The crash scene was in a difficult to reach, steep and heavily vegetated location that precluded easy and safe access from land or air. The team proceeded downstream on inflatable canoes to the crash scene which was located between a steep cliff and the river. The recovery operation itself, which was on steep and rough terrain, required some rope work and was completed by nightfall. The recovery team then proceeded 5km downstream to a location from where the team met up with 4x4 vehicles. During this final part of the operation, the team had to deal with the challenge of having to navigate several rapids and other obstacles on the river at night.

The Mountain Club of SA would like to give our sincere condolences to the pilot's family, friends as well as the canoeing community at large.

The ARCC, is established in terms of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Annex 12 requirement and has the mandate to coordinate all aviation search and rescue related occurrences in terms of the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Act and AMSAR Regulations. The ARCC reports to SASAR and the Department of Transport. The Mountain Club of SA is a dedicated SAR Unit to the ARCC.

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2020.02.22 Rescue of 3 stuck hikers on Table Mountain.

A video to share the conditions they were in.

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Table Mountain Watch Facebook Feed

Dear Clients of SANParks, we are dealing with not only an unprecedented situation but one that is fluid and unpredictable. Following additional advice from key government departments, it is with regret that we have to make a major amendment to decisions made earlier today regarding the closure of our tourism facilities.

All tourism facilities in SANParks will be closed from tomorrow Wednesday 25th March and not Thursday 26th.

Guests will not be allowed to enter any national park whether as day or overnight visitors from Wednesday 25th until further notice.

Secondly, all guests from high-risk countries currently resident in the parks are instructed NOT to leave the parks. All such guests have been identified and staff on the ground will provide them with support and further information regarding their travel arrangements as well as facilitate contact with their embassies.

We have requested our staff to exercise outmost compassion and respect towards our guests to get us all through this crisis. We urge you to cooperate with our staff as we navigate these uncharted waters.

If you can, we urge you to postpone rather than cancel the balance of your stay, we would like to see you back in our parks in the near future.

Stay safe, stay locked down and help flatten the curve.

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Seems the National Government and SANParks are up to their usual devisive ways


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Hard to understand why SANParks - Table Mountain National Park persist with their attempts at creating a false sense of security.

And in response to the statement about the 'TM Safety Forum' - in an article in the Cape Times yesterday (26.02.2020):


It has not met formally for years now. We spent the last 2 years in your offices trying to get one up and running again. To no avail.

But hey, post the minutes of the last meeting where Park Users were invited to attend - and we'll eat our hats

We stand by the numbers shown below by the way.

Its time to call for a change of management and policy for this park. On that point, where is the new Park Manager ?

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