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Helicopter, search teams comb Table Mountain for missing trail runner

Ken Stephen has been missing since he went for a run along Table Mountain on Monday afternoon.
Ken Stephen has been missing since he went for a run along Table Mountain on Monday afternoon.
Image: Claire Keeton

A helicopter and 16 search and rescue crews are looking for a trail runner who disappeared after going for a run along Table Mountain on Monday.

The alert went out for Ken Stephen, 36, after his car was seen parked on Lower Tafelberg Road.

About midnight on Monday, his friends, who are also believed to be trail runners, started searching along the contour path below Devil’s Peak while a search and rescue vehicle made its way towards the King’s Blockhouse above Groote Schuur.

The Trail Running Association Western Province posted on its social media pages that Stephen went for a run between 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Johann Marais said the runner’s family reported shortly after midnight that his cellphone’s location showed it was on the Clifton side of Lion’s Head, a long way from where his car was parked and in the opposite direction of where the teams were searching.

A search in the area where the phone was last detected yielded no results. 

“Further searchers moved up from a temporary base at Nettleton Road (Clifton). The search on that side had no result. Fresh searches were done on the contour path. The teams stood down just before 4am on Tuesday,” said Marais.

“The search was resumed this morning with five teams out. The department of health/AMS helicopter has joined the search, which is being co-ordinated from a command post close to the lower cable station,” he said.

Sniffer dogs were also being used in the search, said Marais, who reported later that the number of search teams had increased to 16.

Marais said anyone with information should contact 021 937 3000.

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