Tourists Rescued From SAfrica River
Mar. 26, 1998
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ Five tourists were rescued from a deep river gorge Thursday after being trapped overnight by rapidly rising water.
The five_ three from New Zealand and two from Germany _ were in good condition, said Eastern Cape police spokeswoman Hillary Nagel.
They were rafting Wednesday on the Storm River in the country's southeastern mountains when heavy rainfall caused the water level to rise dramatically.
Their guide steered the group to a sand bank in a deep gorge, then swam downstream to the Tsitsikamma National Park to seek help.
Efforts to reach the stranded group Wednesday proved fruitless because the river was too wild and the gorge too narrow for a rescue helicopter, said Air Force Lt. Col. Laverne Machine.
Rescue workers then lowered themselves by ropes into the gorge with blankets and supplies for the group.
The river's water level began to fall Thursday, allowing rescuers to raft downstream and rescue the stranded tourists.