press_office_heading.jpg (5861 bytes)
     

All Headlines

HOME


Archive News

This page features the latest news for Eastbourne. Find out about Britain's best resort below.
News
News
AIR STEWARD'S BRUSH WITH TABLE MOUNTAIN
A LUCKY Eastbourne man plunged almost 100ft from a South African mountain and survived after calling his granddad for help 7,500 miles away.
AIR STEWARD'S BRUSH WITH TABLE MOUNTAIN
A LUCKY Eastbourne man plunged almost 100ft from a South African mountain and survived after calling his granddad for help 7,500 miles away.
Air steward Leigh Lander, 26, of Sovereign Harbour, was hiking down the 1,086-metre-high Table Mountain in Cape Town when he lost his footing and fell 30ft.
Amazingly he escaped serious injury and kept on walking before tumbling a further 60ft onto a ledge with a sheer drop below on the city's most famous landmark.
The dad-to-be suffered a gashed leg but was able to use his mobile phone to call grandfather Joe Parker for help at his home in Uckfield.
Mr Parker, 76, frantically followed his grandson's instructions to find telephone numbers for Table Mountain search and rescue teams on the Internet.
Leigh then tapped in the digits on his phone to summon help and was eventually winched off the perilous rock face five hours later by a military helicopter.
Earlier rescue attempts by the Wilderness Search and Rescue Team and the air ambulance failed after it was deemed too dangerous. Leigh was airlifted to the Milnerton Medi Clinic in Cape Town and kept in overnight for observation before being discharged the next day.
He jetted back home two days later to be reunited with relieved fiancee Kirsty McGroggan, 24, who is expecting their first child four days before Christmas.
Speaking from his home yesterday, Leigh said, "I feel extremely lucky and blessed to still be alive. It obviously wasn't my time to go. Someone up there must have been looking out for me.
"I was just starting to climb down what I thought was a pedestrian trail. I was thinking to myself that it was extremely challenging.
"I just lost my footing and could not hold on to anything. I just used my arms to stop my head from hitting the rocks so they took a lot of the battering. I really hurt my leg but I wasn't panicking too much because I thought I would just keep plugging away and get down the bottom eventually. Both times I landed on my feet.
"I was lucky enough to fall on to a ledge otherwise I would have gone the whole way down.
The second fall gave me a wake-up call. I thought, 'It's not worth it, call the helicopter'. I tried ringing mum and dad but couldn't get through.
"I decided to phone my granddad because I knew he would be on the Internet. I told him I'd just fallen down a mountain and that I thought I'd lost some blood.
"I said I needed rescuing because I was on a really narrow shelf and it was dangerous because of the wind and everything.
"I told him to get some phone numbers for search and rescue teams. I told him to go on Google and put in Cape Town Table Mountain and mountain rescue or coastguard. Lots of numbers came up and he gave me them and I started ringing them."
Leigh, who survived a 90mph car crash seven years ago, was rescued at 9.30pm just as clouds descended on the mountain and temperatures plummeted.
07 December 2006
08 December, 2006

Send To Friend
News