Experienced rock climber dies in cliff accident

Dr Carl Fatti died in an accident while rock climbing on Sunday. Picture: Mountain Club SA

An experienced rock climber and well-known member of The Mountain Club South Africa, Dr Carl Fatti, 72, died while rock climbing on Muizenberg crag on Sunday.

Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) spokesman, Johan Marais, said they had been alerted at 3.15pm, and the climber’s location had been established from eyewitness reports.

The information was converted into a 3D image to help the helicopter crew find him.

Ground teams, including 25 members of The Mountain Club South Africa, Western Cape Metro Rescue and Life Healthcare, were dispatched to the steps on Boyes Drive, which was the closest point to the climber and accessible by vehicle.

Mr Marais said a ground team had then hiked up the mountain to extricate Dr Fatti from the cliff face and get him to a more sheltered area where the helicopter could reach him.

ER24 spokesperson, Russel Meiring, said they had reached the scene at 3pm and the AMS Medical Rescue Helicopter had later airlifted the climber from the mountain to the awaiting ER24 ICU and Metro EMS at the roadside.

Mr Meiring said the climber had been in a critical condition and had later died from his injuries.

Mr Marais said all teams had been off the mountain by 6.42pm.

Dr Fatti lived in Somerset West and loved nature.

In 2017 he and his wife, Anna, volunteered at the Tshemba Volunteer Centre near Hoedspruit for a year.

The Tshemba Foundation is a non-profit organisation promoting fair and equal healthcare in South Africa’s rural north east. The national president of The Mountain Club South Africa, Greg Moseley, said Dr Fatti had been a good friend and his death came as a shock.

He said he had known Dr Fatti and his brother, Paul, since 1964 and Dr Fatti had been rock climbing for as long as he could remember.

“He was a very experienced climber,” Mr Moseley said, adding that they had gone on an expedition to Patagonia together, and Dr Fatti had lived to climb.

Muizenberg police spokesman, Captain Stephan Knapp, said an inquest docket had been opened.