National 19.9.2016 10:07 am

Swiss tourist Nick Wiesmann still missing

Nick Wiesmann who disappeared.

Nick Wiesmann who disappeared.

A timeline of the 24 hours since the Swiss man went missing at a wedding in Mpumalanga.

Nick Wiesmann, 76, has now been missing for more than 24 hours.

Wiesmann and his wife, Bettina, travelled to South Africa for wedding celebrations held in the Lowveld Botanical Gardens, Mpumalanga, on the weekend, Lowvelder reported.

September 17, 2016

6.15pm – Wiesmann is last seen:

According to Bettina, he walked from the gardens’ public bathroom area, where a marquee tent had been pitched for the wedding, to the couple’s rental car.

“He wanted to fetch a jacket, but never returned” she said.

8pm – Nick had still not returned:

Bossie’s Community Justice (BCJ) was alerted of his disappearance. BCJ, ER24’s Greg Wilcox and various members of the local Off Road Rescue Unit (ORRU) gathered at the scene and launched a search for Wiesmann.

10pm – Search put on hold:

After having searched the gardens, the group decided to hold up the search until this morning.

September 18, 2016:

6am – Search resumed:

BCJ, Wilcox and various ORRU members took part in the search at dawn.

10am – Aerial search:

The South African Police Services’ (SAPS) chopper was enlisted to assist in trying to locate Wiesmann. However, he could not be seen from the sky.

According to BCJ’s Albert Gryvenstein, the nature of the gardens’ vegetation made this task incredibly difficult.

“Even if he was lying or sitting under a tree, seeing him would have been virtually impossible as a result of the gardens’ dense vegetation,” he said.

12pm – SAPS Middelburg’s canine unit deployed to the scene:

The unit’s sniffing dogs arrived at the Lowveld Botanical Garden just before 2pm.

4pm – Still no sign of Wiesmann:

Tracking dogs were unable to locate Wiesmann. The search continued for two more hours.

6pm – Search put on hold:

A larger search team will continue searching for Wiesmann tomorrow.

“We plan to perform a line search and have increased our manpower. This will enable us to cover the gardens once more. We will not give up on this search,” said Gryvenstein.

– Caxton News Service


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