Hikers rescued from Karbonkelberg trail

The province’s EMS Air Mercy Service rescue helicopter delivered the four rescued hikers to Hout Bay Harbour at 6.37pm.

A helicopter was used to rescue four hikers after they ran into difficulty on the Karbonkelberg coastline trail on Saturday.

The hikers had left from Llandudno at 10am with the intention of traversing the rugged Karbonkelberg coastline, past the Bos 400 shipwreck, to Hout Bay, according to Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) spokesman David Nel.

But they were forced up the side of the mountain by the high tide and became lost while looking for a suitable trail, said Mr Nel, adding that a call was made to the emergency number at 4.55pm.

While ground teams gathered at the Hout Bay National Sea Rescue Institute base in the harbour, a small team on board the province’s EMS Air Mercy Service rescue helicopter was flown to the scene.

Once the helicopter crew had located the hikers, the rescue team, including a paramedic and rescue climber, were hoisted down to the stranded hikers.

“The rescuers reported that the group were completely ‘cliffed out’. They were high up on the mountain with no way to safely proceed, up or down. They were covered in scratches from bundu-bashing through the thick vegetation. All four hikers were safely hoisted from the ledge and flown to a landing zone at the Hout Bay NSRI base. The incident was concluded at 6.37pm,” said Mr Nel.

“This is a very challenging piece of coastline. The path is badly eroded in places, with steep exposed sections. The tide affects access to several parts of the trail, so careful planning is required. We ask that all outdoor enthusiasts keep to the trails. Make sure to pack warm clothing and a torch. If you’re worried or feel unsafe, rather call for help sooner.”

• The WSAR’s emergency contact number is 021 937 0300.