PHOTO: Climber stuck on Arrow Final, Table Mountain. (Image: Skymed via D Tromp)
“We only finished at 06:00 this morning. We took the bodies off the mountain, using the cable car,” said WSAR spokesperson Johann Marais.
“We were able to extract the surviving female off the mountain last night, making use of the cable car as a rigging point from which to abseil.”
The sole survivor, also a foreign tourist, was taken straight to hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries was not yet known.
Marais said that after rescuing the female survivor, the cable car was then put back into use to bring down the approximately 800 tourists who had been left stranded on the mountain during the rescue operation.
The cable car company sent people up the mountain, on foot, to reopen the restaurant, where those stranded could wait and receive refreshments.
Everyone was brought back to the base by 02:00 and the cable car was then used to extricate the bodies.
The gender of the two people who died, was clarified by Marais on Tuesday, as previously it was thought that they were both men.
He said the exact circumstances of the accident, which took place on Monday afternoon, were not yet clear.
“They were abseiling and were each tied to the rope and all three of them fell the (full) length of the safety rope…There was no more rope.”