Man, 73, rescued

Mike Dellbridge, left, attends to the tourist above East Fort.

A 73-year-old German hiker had to be airlifted from the slopes above East Fort after suffering from dehydration on Thursday February 23.

Mike Dellbridge, of Coastal Security, was requested to act as first responder and arrived on the scene shortly after 3pm.

“A group of four tourists came across the man and contacted the authorities. I am often called to assist in such cases, and I immediately responded to Watchcon’s call,” Mr Dellbridge said.

“The man was about 300 metres above East Fort, just off the jeep track. It was a very hot day, and the man was attempting to shelter under a rock. There was hardly any shade, and the other tourists were trying to cover him with a space blanket.”

Mr Dellbridge said the man carried no food or water in his backpack, and it appeared he had not been prepared for the hike.

“He had collapsed from dehydration. I was keeping him hydrated and talking to him. He kept telling me he wanted to go to sleep, but I told him he couldn’t. He also told me that while he was lying there a snake had crawled over his legs.”

With the man unable to walk or be transported off the mountain using a 4×4, it was decided to dispatch a rescue helicopter with two Wilderness Search and Rescue air medics on board.

“The medics dropped down from the helicopter which hovered above, and gave him further treatment.
They then harnessed him, and he
was taken up to the chopper. The helicopter landed on the road at Chappies, where it was met by a team from ER24 who took him to hos-