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Driver survives as car plunges 180m down Cape Town's Chapman’s Peak Drive

Rescue teams saved a motorist whose car plunged off Chapman's Peak Drive on Monday.
Rescue teams saved a motorist whose car plunged off Chapman's Peak Drive on Monday.
Image: Supplied

A 43-year-old woman was taken to hospital after her car plunged 180m down Cape Town's Chapman’s Peak Drive.

A Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) team and its counterparts rushed to the scene on Monday afternoon after reports that a car had driven off the edge of the scenic route. The volunteers “navigated steep terrain to access the patient” who they managed to haul to safety soon after 4pm.

On Tuesday, WSAR spokesperson David Nel said the team was “called to assist other agencies after a vehicle left the road on Chapman’s Peak Drive on Monday afternoon”.

“According to information from the scene, the [woman] was driving towards Hout Bay from the lookout when her vehicle plunged 180m down a steep slope,” Nel said.

The driver was alone in the car.

“It’s inspiring to see such a large group of professionals and volunteers from multiple services working together in such a complicated environment,” said Nel.

“This was a demanding scenario made less difficult by having access to so many competent rescue specialists at one scene.

“It’s always a pleasure working alongside the City of Cape Town fire and rescue services, Western Cape department of health and wellness, health emergency medical services (EMS), Life Healthcare and the National Sea Rescue Institute.”

Nel said the WSAR team was dispatched shortly after 2pm.  

“A smaller medical and rescue team navigated the steep terrain down to the wreck, where they found the patient had been able to exit the vehicle but was unable to walk any further,” he said.

“The patient was assessed and treated on scene before being placed into a stretcher. While the team below treated the patient, the rescue teams on the road rigged a technical rope system anchored to one of the city’s fire and rescue vehicles.”

Nel said an EMS drone was used to monitor and provide feedback on the rescue efforts below.

“In a co-ordinated effort, the patient was safely carried back up to the road. The team above slowly hauled the stretcher up to the road using the rope system, while the team below moved the stretcher through the dense vegetation and up the steep slope.

“Once on the road, the patient was moved to a waiting ambulance and transported to hospital. The operation was concluded shortly after 4.20pm. We wish the patient a speedy recovery,” Nel said.


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