The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


Paraglider Rescued After Accident at Gericke’s Point in Sedgefield

Michael Hawthorne

WESTERN CAPE – In a dramatic rescue operation on Monday, 29 January, a paraglider faced a terrifying accident at Gericke’s Point, Sedgefield, leaving emergency services scrambling to provide aid and transport the injured individual to safety.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Wilderness received alerts at 17:08 on that fateful day, as eyewitnesses reported a paragliding mishap. The NSRI Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) were swiftly informed, triggering the activation of a multi-agency response.

The NSRI Wilderness duty crew, along with their rescue vehicle, lifeguards, and various other emergency services such as the Western Cape Government Health EMS rescue squad, EMS rescue paramedics, Metro Rescue all-terrain vehicle, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services, and ER24 ambulance services, were all mobilized to the scene.

Upon arrival at Swartvlei Beach, NSRI’s all-terrain rescue vehicle was employed to transport rescuers and equipment closer to the accident site along the beach. Additional resources arrived, including a Metro Rescue all-terrain vehicle ferrying personnel, resources, and equipment.

The rocky terrain and the peak of high tide posed challenges, limiting the ability of vehicles to reach the incident location. Undeterred, the rescue team hiked to the casualty, while more responding resources were collected and transported to the nearest landmark to join the operation.

At the accident scene, located on treacherous rocky terrain, the first rescue team provided critical medical care to a 50-year-old male paraglider, a tourist from Germany. The paraglider had sustained serious injuries after colliding with a rocky sand dune during the flight. Paramedics stabilized the patient on-site before securing him into a Stokes basket stretcher.

Assisted by rescue personnel and members of the public lending a hand, the patient was then hiked to where rescue vehicles were standing by. A Metro Rescue all-terrain vehicle transported the injured paraglider along the beach to the Swartvlei Beach parking area, from where an ER24 ambulance transported him to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

The remote location and challenging terrain made the rescue operation particularly demanding, emphasizing the commendable response and cooperation of all emergency services involved. Public members who volunteered their assistance were also praised for their willingness to lend a hand.

As the injured paraglider continues to receive medical care in the hospital, our thoughts and support are with his family and friends during this challenging time. The swift and coordinated efforts of the rescue teams undoubtedly played a crucial role in ensuring a successful outcome in the face of adversity.


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