On Monday at 06H45, I was called by Port Elizabeth Mountain Rescue regarding two injured hikers who were stranded in the Groendal Nature Reserve.
The group of five hikers had become lost on Sunday afternoon and selected the incorrect path to descend towards the starting point of their hike, Groendal Information Center. Whilst trying to descend, two of the lady hikers injured themselves. One had an injured ankle and the other an injured knee. Both were unable to walk any further.
Mountain rescue had hiked to the group of hikers the previous evening, and had made sure that they were safe and warm. Mountain rescue stayed with the group sleeping under the stars with little shelter other than a few branches bunched together to form a small wind break.
I got airborne at 07H30 arriving on scene at 07H48. I had been given accurate GPS Co-ordinates by Mountain Rescue, allowing us to locate them immediately.
Both hikers injuries were stabilized before airlifting to Cuyler Netcare Clinic in Uitenhage. The more serious of the two hikers was airlifted first, followed by the second hiker. Total flying time from scene to Cuyler Clinic was 5 minutes!
Mountain Rescue and the remaining three hikers faced a 4 to 5 hour hike back to the Groendal Information Center.
Bell Longranger 206L4, Fuel used – 125Ltrs, Flying time (base to base) – 1,3 hours.