On Saturday, 22 July 2017, the Mountain Club of South Africa’s Search and Rescue team successfully evacuated 140 people from the Hartebeespoort Aerial Cableway. A mechanical problem occurred at midday which left most of the cableway guests stranded at the top station, whilst 15 people (including a 6-month old baby) were stuck in the gondolas.
In combination with members of the Cableway Operators Team, Off-Road Rescue Unit, Lonmin Surface Rescue Team and MSAR Gauteng, the MCSA Search and Rescue team was able to safely lower guests from the gondolas to the ground. Cableway management chartered a private helicopter which they used to airlift any frail, very young or very old people off the mountain, whilst others were taken down a jeep track in 4x4s by the Off-Road Rescue Unit.
The last rescuers and visitors were safely off the mountain by 20:00. The rescue team comprised of approximately 60 rescuers and 12 4x4s.
Read more on the MCSASAR Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MCSASAR/
Watch a video of the MCSASAR practicing for this exact scenario:
Source: MCSASAR Facebook page