DA condemns attacks on EMS staff

Image via: @ER24EMS Twitter

Elderly man dies after Kalk Bay rock-climbing accident

An elderly rock climber died following a climbing accident along Boyes Drive, in Kalk Bay.

DA condemns attacks on EMS staff

Image via: @ER24EMS Twitter

A man, believed to be in his 70s, died on Sunday following a rock-climbing accident along Boyes Drive, in Kalk Bay, Western Cape.

According to ER24, paramedics arrived at the scene at 15:00 to find the Western Cape Metro Rescue, Life Healthcare and the Mountain Club of South Africa already there. 

The AMS medical rescue helicopter was called to the scene to airlift several rescuers to the climber while several other rescuers hiked to reach the patient. 

Rock climber succumbs to his injuries 

Medics and rescue personnel retrieved and stabilised the patient on the scene. However, assessments showed that the man had sustained several serious injuries and was in critical condition.

The AMS medical rescue helicopter was called to airlift the patient from the mountain and deliver him to the awaiting ER24 ICU and Metro EMS at the roadside.

“Unfortunately, after a short time, the man succumbed to his numerous injuries,” said the ER24 statement. 

“The details surrounding this incident are not yet known, but local authorities were on the scene for further investigations,” it added. 

Ten tips to keep you safe while rock climbing 

1. Always check your harness 

After you’ve geared up and tied into the rope at the base of a route, always check that both the climber’s and belayer’s harness buckles are doubled back. 

2. Check knots 

Before you start climbing, always double-check to make sure that the lead climber’s tie-in knot — usually a figure-8 follow-through — is tied correctly and finished with a backup knot. 

3. Wear a climbing helmet

Helmets protect your head from falling rocks and from the impact of falling. Head injuries from falls and rockfall can be fatal.

4. Check the rope and belay device

Before you lead a route, always double-check to make sure that the rope is properly threaded through the belay device. Also, always make sure that the rope and belay device is attached with a locking carabiner to the belay loop on the belayer’s harness.

5. Always use a long rope

Make sure your climbing rope is long enough to reach the anchors and lower back down on a sports route or to reach a belay ledge on multi-pitch routes. When sports climbing, if you have any doubt that the rope is too short, always tie a stopper knot in the tail end to avoid being dropped to the ground.

6. Pay attention

When you’re belaying, always pay attention to the leader above. The leader is the one taking the risks of a fall and leading the route. 

7. Bring enough gear

Before you climb a route, always eyeball it from the ground and determine what equipment you need to bring. You know best. Do not rely strictly on a guidebook to tell you what to bring. 

8. Climb with the rope over your leg

When you are leading a route, always make sure that the rope is over your leg rather than between them or behind one leg. 

9. Properly clip the rope

Make sure you always clip your rope through carabiners on quickdraws correctly. Avoid back clipping, where the rope runs front to back rather than back to front in the carabiner. 

10. Use safe anchors

At the top of a pitch or route, always use at least two anchors. Three is better. On a sports route, always use locking carabiners if you are lowering down to top-rope climb off the anchors.