Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
3 minute read
7 Jan 2022
5:45 am

Night of terror: Conservationist spends 20 hours in middle of flooded Vaal river

Marizka Coetzer

Engelbrecht described that everything from how to survive to dying went through his mind at different times.

Dirk Engelbrecht, Wild Serve CEO, speaks to The Citizen, 6 January 2022, at the Urban Rhino Eco Resort in Johannesburg, after he was rescued from a tree in the middle of the raging Vaal River. While trying to rescue low hanging birds nests from flood waters he was caught in rapids and became seperated from his kayak. He spent 20 hours in the tree and was rescued on Tuesday morning. Picture: Michel Bega

A conservationist from Randburg spent nearly 20 hours hanging onto a tree in the middle of the Vaal River after his kayak collided with a tree earlier this week. CEO of Wild Serve, Dirk Engelbrecht and a team of professional kayakers and experts rescued 50 eggs and baby birds from an island in the Vaal Dam on Monday. “The eggs were transported to a facility in Krugersdorp and incubated. Some eggs have started to hatch,” Engelbrecht said. However, when the team headed back on Monday, Engelbrecht and his two colleagues decided to return to the dam upstream to look for...