Five bikers reported missing last night found safe

Oudtshoorn, 10 October 2019 – The Oudtshoorn Municipality’s Disaster Management Centre received reports last night around 20:30 of bikers that reportedly got lost in the Kamanassie Nature Reserve area.

“We received one location pin from the bikers indicating their exact location at that stage via one of the bikers’ wives,” said Adel Supra-Virtue, manager for Oudtshoorn’s Disaster Management. “We, however, tried contacting them to confirm their location without any success. Information at that stage indicated that they are safe and are going to stay on the mountain. 

“A search and rescue operation could not be launched last night, due to poor weather conditions. Also, the accuracy of the exact location could not be established, therefore the risk to rescuers became a big concern. 

Today, at 06:50, Supra-Virtue activated a Joint Operational Centre at the Oudtshoorn Fire station and called in all essential role-players such as Oudtshoorn Municipal Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), South African Police Service (SAPS), Klein Karoo Event Medics and Cape Nature.

The search and rescue effort resumed; officials made calls to the bikers’ cellphones which were supplied by their wives. One of the bikers answered eventually. The exact location was subsequently established via a WhatsApp pin drop.

“We were informed they are fine and in good health condition except for one of them who is diabetic and was weak at the time.  A request was the submitted to activate the Air Medical Services (AMS) helicopter to airlift him out, as the condition of the roads leading to them are still wet, slippery and dangerous.

AMS left base at 08:42 and the bikers was spotted at 09:11 this morning. The first two patients were airlifted to the Oudtshoorn Provincial Hospital at 09:13.  At 10:12 the last three bikers was airlifted and taken to hospital.  All 5 were checked-out and in good spirits and the diabetic biker received some medical attention at the Hospital. These bikers are from Hartebeespoort Dam and were touring the area with their bikes. The JOC was deactivated at 10:34.

“We want to thank all role-players involved with this rescue as well as John-Marcel Muller that sponsored some hot food and drinks when the bikers arrived at the hospital it is much appreciated,” Supra-Vertue concluded.

CAPTION: from Left to right:  Mornay Thysse (Senior Firefighter), Adel Supra-Vertue (Manager:  Fire Rescue and Disaster Management Services; Amelia Rank (Junior Firefighter), (Bikers with their first names only) Johan, Rene, Peter, Werner and Dewald, Theo Gouws (Klein Karoo Event Medics), Buks Gouws and Irene Malgas of the Oudtshoorn Disaster Management.

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