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5,000 RESCUES AND COUNTING THOUSANDS OF RESCUES MADE. COUNTLESS LIVES TOUCHED.

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Belgian hikers use SPOT for helicopter rescue in Lapland wilderness


July 2017

In July 2017, Jeroen and Laura were on a multi-day hike in the remote wilderness of Lapland when Laura fell seriously ill.

Jeroen is experienced at hiking in the Swedish mountains and has completed many unsupported solo hikes across far-flung expanses, both in -40°C winter conditions and wet summers. He tries to visit the region from his home in Belgium at least twice a year.

As he regularly goes to remote areas, Jeroen bought a SPOT Gen3 to use in case of an emergency as well as to send check-in/ok messages to friends and family at home.

"Our family really appreciate that they can track our progress and get check-in/ok messages from us. They follow us non-stop when we are out in the wilderness. They know if they don't receive a message every 24 hours, then they need to send help to our last known location," Jeroen said.

"I especially like SPOT Gen3's impressive battery life, even with the tracking mode on. I also like the way it is built. It's very rugged," he added.

To prepare for their X-day hiking trip to the Lapland wilderness in Northern Sweden, Jeroen and Laura bought high quality equipment and undertook training including a summer hiking trip to central Sweden.

Jeroen and Laura set out from Kvikkjokk on Friday afternoon and spent the first night camping above the tree line. On day two they hiked further into a high valley.

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HIKER USES SPOT DEVICE TO AID ANOTHER HIKER EXPERIENCING HEART PROBLEMS IN AUSTRALIA

Rescue Profile: Han
Case #: 15918


Snowmobilers Extracted from Avalanche Exposure
Han


While on a seven day hiking trip in Tasmania, Australia, Han Strating and his girlfriend were near New Pelion when they came across another hiker experiencing heart problems. Realizing the man was in need of serious medical attention; Han quickly pulled out his SPOT GEN3® and pressed the S.O.S. button. Luckily, there was a nurse with the individual who was already providing first aid to keep him stable while they waited for help.

Since the SPOT GEN3 belonged to Han, GEOS, reached out to his mother who happened to be his primary point of contact. Han’s mother, who happened to be on the other side of the world and with no prior knowledge of his whereabouts, became very wary upon receiving the call from GEOS. Han says that his mom was “stressed for a few hours, but ultimately was happy and proud of what I did…” Within 2 ½ hours from when Han pressed the S.O.S button on his SPOT device to aid the fellow hiker, the Westpac Rescue helicopter arrived at their location to take the patient and his wife to Hobart Hospital. As soon as the helicopter took off, Han began notifying his friends and emergency contacts that he was indeed okay and not in danger.

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Snowmobilers Extracted from Avalanche Exposure

Rescue Profile: Matt Oliver
Case #: 15932


Snowmobilers Extracted from Avalanche Exposure
Matt Oliver


Matt Oliver and four friends picked a beautiful day for snowmobiling in Steamboat Springs, CO. They set off on their ride around 10 AM and traveled a familiar route. A few hours into their ride, they decided to take a different path back to their vehicles. The new path led them to a creek ravine and they realized they were getting into dangerous avalanche terrain. They began strategizing the best way out.

The group of five experienced snowmobilers vacillated about driving back through their old tracks, but after determining their location via their GPS system, they decided it was safer to head down the creek for another half mile rather than driving back uphill. The thick blankets of snow made it very difficult for them to make much distance and they knew they couldn't continue on without putting themselves at a greater risk.

Luckily, Matt and his friends were well prepared with saws, thermals, boiling pots and Matt's SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. "I pressed the S.O.S. on my SPOT to alert GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center, knowing that it would not be until morning when search and rescue could safely come help us," commented Matt. They made a fire and set up camp for the night. Meanwhile, GEOS contacted Matt's mom and dad to let them know of the situation. The family was advised that it would take some time for search and rescue to assist due to the situation of snow and avalanche danger.

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Motorcyclist Hits Rough Patch in Los Padres National Forest

Rescue Profile: Alfred Moore
Case #: 15780


Helicopter that rescued fellow hiker
Alfred and his SPOT


Alfred Moore, an outdoor aficionado from Southern California, has been riding motorcycles for four years, on average 3-5 days a week. He and seven of his buddies recently went on a three-day weekend camping trip in the Los Padres National Forest. On the second day, Alfred and one other were tailing at the end of their group when he hit a switchback in the soft sand and took a hard fall.

After his friend helped pull his bike off of him, Alfred realized he was in bad shape. "The initial pain was horrific, but then I lost feeling in my leg below my knee cap," he stated. Alfred's first instinct was to call his wife, Tiffanie. After dropped calls due to poor cell coverage, he grabbed his SPOT Gen3 that his wife convinced him to purchase just days prior to trip and pressed the S.O.S button.

Back at home, Tiffanie received the call from GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center. She had told GEOS that she suspected he was in trouble after the attempted calls he had made earlier but didn't know what was wrong. They assured her help was on the way to his location and that they would be back in touch with her to provide an update.

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4,000th Rescue: Motorcyclist in DeKalb County, Alabama

Rescue Profile: Michael Herrera
Case #: 15697


4000th rescue


On October 23 in DeKalb County, Alabama, retired Houston firefighter Michael Herrera was alone and off-roading on his dual-sport bike when he took a hard fall. Although initially disoriented, Michael’s experience as a first responder told him that his injuries were more serious than he could see so he reached for his SPOT Gen3® and pressed the S.O.S. button.

Back at home, his wife LaDonna grew concerned when she realized that the SPOT Gen3 was not tracking Michael anymore on his SPOT Shared Page and she knew in her heart that he needed emergency assistance.

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