Dragon's Wrath 2013

10 Jan 2013 08:07 - 20 Jan 2013 10:44 #55834 by ghaznavid
This is the place to gather and discuss all accidents and rescues in the Drakensberg for 2012. The most common are hiking related, though they can also result from other activities such as climbing and paragliding. This thread is inspired by the book "Dragons Wrath" by Reg Pearse & James Byrom, and is an endeavour to continue on in that spirit.

The purpose of this is to:
* concatenate all information about these accidents to keep a concerned Drakensberg community informed;
* express solidarity and concern to those involved in the accidents;
* learn from mistakes made and to heed warnings of risks.

The purpose of this is NOT to:
* criticise or embarrass those involved;
* create media hype about other peoples accidents;
* create undue negative publicity for the Berg.

Historical threads:
5 hiking-related deaths in 2008
Dragon's Wrath 2010
Dragon's Wrath 2011
Dragon's Wrath 2012


Gavin Raubenheimer posted this report on the MCSA KZN facebook page:

MALE (57) AIRLIFTED FROM THE DRAKESNBERG IN A NIGHT OPERATION

A 57 year old male hiker was bitten on the foot by a Puffadder, while staying at "Khaula" at Vergelegen, part of the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park. The cave is located at 2300m and on steep ground. The patient was part of a group hiking in the area. The party alerted rangers of KZN Wildlife at the Vergelegen office who in turn raised the alarm with the main Ezemvelo office at Cobham near Underberg. Mr. Charl Brummer from Cobham at about 4:30pm then called the Mountain Club's Search and Rescue team for assistance. The Mountain Club co-ordinated a combined rescue team of one Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS)paramedic and 3 Mountain Club members. The team left from Oribi airport at last light onboard a SA Air Force Oryx helicopter from 15 Squadron in Durban.

The aircraft arrived at the patient at 8pm and a night hoisting operation took place in a deep closed-out valley at 2300m altitude. Mountain Club members and the EMRS paramedic were hoisted down from the aircraft and stabilised and packaged the patient. He was then hoisted into the aircraft with the team and taken to a Pietermaritzburg hospital. The aircraft had to avoid thunderstorms to get into the Drakensberg and again on its return. It was a successful operation which involved skilled flying by the SA Airforce.

Gavin Raubenheimer
MCSA- Mountain Rescue Convener

Last edit: 20 Jan 2013 10:44 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fitness

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11 Jan 2013 08:46 - 11 Jan 2013 08:48 #55842 by HFc
Replied by HFc on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Great work by MCSA and EMRS.

Any updates available on the condition of the hiker?
Last edit: 11 Jan 2013 08:48 by HFc.

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11 Jan 2013 11:07 #55843 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
He is apparently stable. There is a more detailed story on News24 .

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13 Jan 2013 22:08 #55853 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Always good to see a successful outcome. A big shout out to the SAAF, MCSA and EMRS crews. :thumbsup: Excellent flying especially at night in that kind of weather, it is good to know that our crews are at a high level.

Does anyone have any additional info on the recent Dak crash and the outcome?

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21 Jan 2013 06:22 #55908 by BobbyStanton
Replied by BobbyStanton on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Apparently it crashed at the top of the Long Wall, just to the northwest of Giant's Pass, on a fairly flat area.

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04 Feb 2013 20:22 #55979 by RobD
Replied by RobD on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Just some detail I've copied from from News24 which is relevant... ""Harro Tönsing is my uncle, so I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped to rescue him! ...Also, it was a Berg Adder, not a puff adder, so this info isn't 100% correct.""

No, Harro is not my uncle. I copied it from the news site.:)

R

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18 Feb 2013 07:42 - 18 Feb 2013 08:06 #56040 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Not particularly nice to be writing about something like this which happened right in front of me, but any way - it could have been a lot worse.

On our descent of North Hlubi Pass yesterday, after a huge hail storm which hit us (literally) at about 2800m - leaving enough small ice marbles to make foot placements difficult combined with the large amounts of rain making it difficult to walk in the riverbed on the hardest part of the pass. On an exposed section of the pass (around 2700m) our youngest member, Michael (Hobbit), took a nasty 10m fall on around 80 degree wet rock, landing in the riverbed below. The incident happened just below the twist in the river seen in this photo:


He seems to be fine - which is a miracle, I don't see how someone can take such a nasty fall, land feet first and not even twist their ankle. He walked out the rest of the route and seems to be fine.

Its an ugly reminder of how vicious the Dragon can be. I'll put details of the pass itself (which is no more exposed than Rhino Pass or Judge Pass), the groups reaction to the event etc in the upcoming hike report "The Dragon's Missing Thumb".

Update on how he's doing: "I'm ok, very sore, but ok." - from an sms received from him this morning

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Last edit: 18 Feb 2013 08:06 by ghaznavid.

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18 Feb 2013 08:37 #56044 by no4stopper
Replied by no4stopper on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
Just out of curiosity how old is Michael?

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18 Feb 2013 08:45 #56045 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
12

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18 Feb 2013 08:46 #56046 by Fitness
Replied by Fitness on topic Dragon's Wrath 2013
He is 11 if I am not mistaken. What a brave and strong laaitjie. He is an amazing climber.
Could of happened to any of us on that exPosed section of the gully.
Must give credit to Ghaz, he is an incredible hike leader.
Just goes to show the Dargon shows no mercy.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ghaznavid

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