Table Mountain Rescue Statement from Wahida Parker Cableway MD
Table Mountain Cableway is extremely grateful for the patience and understanding displayed by the approximately 500 visitors whose trip down the cable car was delayed, after we suspended operations between 18h15 and 22h15 to assist in the rescue of three mountain climbers below the Upper Station on New Year’s Day.
By enabling us to use the cable car to assist Metro Rescue, you contributed to the rescue operation which saw the injured climber transported down the Mountain in the cable car. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the two climbers who lost their lives.
The hikers were spotted on the cliff’s edge by Cableway staff at 17h15. After Metro Rescue conducted an assessment of the situation, we suspended operations at 18h15 and assisted getting paramedics to the scene. Suspending operations also helped to limit the number of visitors at the Top Station.
Due to the location of the climbers it was a very difficult and dangerous operation for Mountain Rescue. Understandably they were unable to provide a time frame for the rescue, so we were not able to give visitors an accurate time for when our operations would resume.
Cableway facilities such as the Café, WiFi Lounge, Top Station building and Shop at the Top were used to provide shelter to visitors but due to capacity constraints we were unable to provide shelter for everyone.
At 22h15 Cableway resumed operations and started bringing visitors down. The last visitors were brought down at 00h33. Cableway staff were on site until 3h00.
Cableway assistance was again extended to Metro Rescue at 5h00 this morning to assist with the retrieval of the bodies.
We are enormously grateful for the work of Metro Rescue who risked their lives in this operation. We also thank them for assistance in providing transport to our visitors who did not have their own transport and required lifts home.