Just in the last week, there have been three serious incidents in and around Table Mountain National Park that have required emergency services.
Above: Looking north-east towards Table Mountain from Suther Peak.
The first was a non-fatal drowning near Sandy Bay at the Bos 400 shipwreck while the latter two fatal fall incidents occurred on the Western side of Table Mountain above Camps Bay (here and here). These incidents occur in a context of a recent spike in crime on the mountain as well as numerous complaints of increasing amounts of littering.
Collectively, this highlights the essential value of emergency services and the need to continuously work towards a more safety-conscious and environmentally aware outdoor community.
The free Forge App was launched in May 2019 with the goal of ensuring all mountain users had access to accurate and reliable digital maps. Having a map is essential when heading outdoors, particularly so for novice hikers. Digital maps go a step further than traditional paper maps as they show your precise GPS location, so you know exactly where you are at almost all times.
For emergencies the Forge App has two extremely useful features: offline maps and emergency call functionality. Downloaded offline maps ensure that the user can still use a map and get their position whilst on the mountain, even without a cell-phone network. Each Forge map has the relevant emergency contacts available within the call function, saving the user time and ensuring the correct emergency contact is used in times of distress (cell-phone network required).
Beyond this, Forge also has a 'Mountain Safety' page linked in the menu tab which has useful information included - 'Hiking 101' tips, search and rescue guidelines, hiker etiquette suggestions and advice on personal safety against crime in the mountains.
Above (left) Emergency contacts can be called directly from the app, (right) Mountain Safety page can be accessed from the menu tab.
Below: Screenshot from the Mountain Safety page on the Forge website.
One can never anticipate an emergency situation, but taking our safety guidelines into consideration (which are easily accessible), knowing your location and having relevant emergency contacts at your fingertips can go a long way towards offsetting the possibility of putting yourself and others in danger. While the Forge app cannot guarantee your safety and is not a substitute for any other safety feature, the safety aspects in the app are the number one reason every Table Mountain user should have the free Forge App installed on their smartphone.
Forge can help build a more safety conscious and environmentally aware outdoor community and assist in keeping mountain users safe whilst also alleviating pressure on scarce emergency services and resources.
Be sure to get the free Forge App on your mobile and download our offline maps to take with you onto the mountain, then share the stoke using #ForgeSA.
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