A woman spent 24 hours in a ravine after her car tumbled down the mountainside near Redhill Road.
She was spotted by a motorist who had stopped on the side of the road to pick up porcupine quills.
Gary van Wyk, a freelance photographer, had just dropped his daughter at school, on Wednesday August 18, and was on his way home when he spotted some porcupine quills on the side of the road near the military base.
“I pulled over and started collecting the quills. I walked further down the road and saw a pile of them, and while I was busy picking them up, I heard a very faint cry,” he said.
The cry was so faint he could barely make it out as a cry for help, but then he saw a woman on the mountainside
“At first, I didn’t know what I was looking at; I thought maybe it was someone hiking, but then I noticed the car in the ravine. It was barely visible, and I realised she needed some help.”
Mr Van Wyk immediately called his partner, gave her his location, and told her to call an ambulance. He then drove further down the road in an attempt to get closer to the woman.
He met a man from the military base on the side of the road and together they made their way down the mountainside to the car, which was not visible from the road.
“It was a very steep climb and we found the woman outside of her car. She told us her name and said she had been there since the previous day.”
The man with Mr Van Wyk returned to the military for help, and Mr Van Wyk called CMR again to give them a more accurate description of his location.
CMR spokesman Darren Zimmerman said the incident was called in on Wednesday August 18 at 9.35am. Paramedics, Metro Mountain Rescue, and the City’s Fire and Rescue Service were dispatched to the corner of Redhill and Scala roads.
Mr Zimmerman said the woman had been found about 40 metres from her vehicle. The accident had happened at midday on Tuesday August 17, and the woman’s husband had reported her missing, he said.
CMR paramedics treated her and she was airlifted from the mountainside to the roadway by Air Mercy Service (AMS) SkyMed helicopter.
Fish Hoek police spokesman Warrant Officer Peter Middelton said the woman’s husband had been at the charge office opening a missing person’s case when he had received the call that she had been found.
Mr Van Wyk said the paramedics had done an “amazing” job in their rescue operation and were true heroes.
“The Khoi believe that porcupine quills bring good luck, and I believe that the quills were on the side of the road for a reason that day. It was by an absolute miracle that she was found,” he said.