South African killed in Skye rockfall, Scotland

A woman killed by a falling boulder in the Cuillin hills has been named as 56-year-old South African Tessa Cousins.

Tessa Cousins, 56, was hit by a boulder on the Cioch Direct climb on the Cuillin hills at about 3pm on Tuesday May 31.

The climbing partner of the self-employed businesswoman from Cape Town was injured along with a man and woman in a separate party as the boulder fell down the hill.

None of the others involved have been formally identified.

All three of the injured climbers were taken to the Dr MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford on Skye.

The woman in the second party suffered injuries to her back and chest, while the man she was with broke a shoulder and hand.

The man then walked down the mountain to raise the alarm.

Gerry Ackroyd, from Skye Mountain Rescue, said: “He walked off down the hill for help.  He must have been some kind of iron man to do that with his injuries.  He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

12 Responses to South African killed in Skye rockfall, Scotland

  1. Willem Boshoff Jun 2, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    My heart really goes out to Dirk (Versfeld) & the family. I have seen Tessa & Dirk often at crags and on TM – always thought that they’re an amazing team; always friendly and always smiling. My sincere condolences for your loss.

    Beeld posted a more detailed report:

  2. Justin Jun 2, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Sincere condolences to the Cousins and Verseveld families.

  3. Julia Wakeling Jun 2, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Sending lots of love to Dirk, Anna, Tinie and all the Versvelds and Cousins.
    Such a tragedy.

  4. Frederick Jun 2, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Liezl and I love Dirk and Tessa. We are so sad. Tessa was the most wonderful, amazing person and a true friend. We are grateful for the times spend and memories shared. We miss her very much.

  5. Johann Jun 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Shooo Dirk, my friend. You and Tessa were so good together in the mountains that you love so much. It is just so hard to believe that you won’t be up there together anymore. Love and strength from Johann & Sandra.

  6. Justin Jun 3, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    In relation to Dirk Versfeld’s accident, his daughter, Anna Versfeld asked me to pass on the message that anybody who would like to send Dirk a message can do so by using her e-mail address:
    Dirk would appreciate the love and support…

    Kind Regards

  7. Dark horse Jun 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I’m so very sorry….. My heart just breaks for you guys, I wish there was someway I could take away some of your pain.

    My thoughts are with you..

  8. Anna Jun 4, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Thank you for all the messages, love and caring. They keep us crying and smiling, and it’s probably a very healthy combination.

  9. Hilton Davies Jun 6, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    My dear friend Dirk, dear Anna and family, I sit in an airport lounge and my eyes swim. The drama of Skye, the beauty of climbing and the depth of your wonderful relationships don’t fit with such random harshness. Life and nature can be so unkind and we can do nothing about it. The Davies family knows these pains and feels them deeply for you. We love you and sympathize more than words can convey. We metaphorically hold you in these desperately hard times of processing the unprocessable. Love, friendship and caring, Hilton

  10. Juan Carlos (from the Basque Country) Jun 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Dear Dirk and Anna,

    I just knew about the accident. It´s difficult for me to express all these feeling in English… Nevertheless, I just wanted to let you know what a great pleasure was for me being colleague and friend with Tessa. Only I know how much I learnt from her. That will never die as I´ll keep passing it on.

    Anna, it has been a long time, but I want you and Dirk to know that my place will be always open for you. Please, send my love to Tabitha (I do not know how to contact her).

    Lots of love for you from me and Irma and very special hug for Dirk

    Juan Carlos

  11. Desia Jun 16, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    I wish to send my love and warmth to Tessa’s family and loved ones. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you at this time. Tessa was larger than life and a powerful woman. Her absence will be felt by so many of the people that she touched along the way. Take care, Desia.

  12. Justin Jun 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    There will be a memorial for Tessa Cousins on Saturday 25th June 2011 in the Whale Well, Iziko Museum, Cape Town, from 6pm. Tessa died in a climbing accident in Scotland on the 31st May 2011.

    Please see this link for more info:

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