The bodies of two abseilers was retrieved from Table Mountain on Tuesday morning. The pair had been climbing “Arrow Final” along with a female companion when they are believed to have fallen from the side of the mountain.
South African National Parks [SANParks] Regional Communications Manager, Merle Collins, says that at approximately 17h00 on Monday officials were alerted to an incident on Table Mountain where three people were dangling from ropes.
“We became aware of an incident on Table Mountain National Park near the cable car station. Upon investigation, we found three people dangling from ropes; they were abseiling and all three of them fell.”
Two of the individuals died on impact, one survivor – a foreign national female – unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the two victims.
Collins says some 700 visitors to Table Mountain were forced to wait several hours at the top of the mountain, after the use of the cable car was required for the rescue operation.
Given the terrain, the cable car was used to reach the victims.
“The cable car operations had to be stopped, because the area was so difficult to access. So they used the Cable car to get to the closest point.”
The female was rescued and taken to the nearest health facility, with operations of the cable car resuming soon after. The last visitors to the mountain were removed 00h30 on Tuesday morning.
Once the last people were removed from the mountain, retrieval operations resumed.
The identities of the deceased are unconfirmed at this stage.
“One of the deceased is a local and one is a foreign national female.”
Collins says the fact that an individual survived the fall is a miracle.
While SANParks is not responsible for abseiling on the mountain side, Collins confirmed that an investigation will be conducted.