Dutch tourist evacuated from remote hiking trail

Yesterday afternoon, the NSRI in Knysna were activated following reports of a Dutch tourist injured in a remote part of the Drupkelders hiking trail, near Rheenendal.

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While Drupkelders is a relatively short hiking trail of only 3.6 km it involves vertical cliff traversing making it a barely accessible and remote area.
A river guide was escorting a 31 year old Dutch man and his 26 year old female partner through Drupkelders hiking trail when the man had reportedly jumped into a rock pool and sustained a suspected compound fracture to the lumbar spine.
The injured man is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and his partner a General Surgeon, from Amsterdam, and they remained where they were as they did not want to move the injured man fearing complicating the injury.
The guide hiked a vertical cliff trail to reach an area where he had a cellphone signal to raise the alarm.
On arrival at the parking area, in overcast weather conditions, rescuers were met by the guide and hiked a kilometre down steep vertical cliffs to reach the Goukamma River and from there 6 NSRI Knysna rescue swimmers, accompanied by the river guide, then swam upstream searching for the two hikers.
The swim upstream involved going over numerous waterfalls.
A kilometre upstream the two hikers were found with the injured man in a serious condition.
Full C-Spine immobilisation was applied and the man was loaded into a specialised floating Stokes Basket sea rescue stretcher and gently swum down stream, with special care being taken to get down the numerous waterfalls.
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Paramedics then treated the man and intravenous therapy and pain medications were administered and with the injured man in a stable but serious condition a rope and pulley system was rigged to haul the stretcher a kilometre up a steep cliff to reach the parking area.
A Medlife ambulance has transported the man to hospital in a serious but stable condition, accompanied by his partner.
The name of the man has not been released by Police pending family abroad being informed of his well being.