Rented Personal Locator Beacon Saves Hiker in Grand Canyon
Hand held Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) use satellite technology to locate individuals lost, injured, or stranded in the wilderness.
MUKILTEO, WA. July 5, 2007 – An Indiana man recognizing he was suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration while hiking in the Grand Canyon with three companions was rescued by helicopter after activating his rented PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) on July 2nd. This marks the first PLB rescue in the Grand Canyon. Recovering at the Flagstaff Medical Center, the hiker, Jason, is being treated for severe dehydration and the onset of renal failure.
An experienced hiker who “climbs 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado each year, Jason knows the signs of heat exhaustion” reports his father, Jack, “and despite drinking plenty of water, it was an extremely hot day and he became dehydrated”. Although they had discussed renting a PLB for the week long trip, considering the experience of the hikers, they decided a PLB wasn’t necessary. “I decided to rent the PLB for him and he took it along. It ended up saving his life” said Jack. The other three hikers chose to hike out of the canyon on their own and took the PLB with them.
The PLB credited with saving Jason’s life was an ACR TerraFix with built in GPS rented from PLB Rentals, LLC (www.PLBRentals.com). Upon activating the PLB, a distress signal was sent to SARSAT (Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking) satellites monitored by NOAA which in turn relayed the distress signal to the AFRCC (Air Force Rescue Coordination Center). The AFRCC in turn contacted PLB Rentals, LLC for information regarding the rental party as well as the emergency contact information. With that information in hand, the AFRCC coordinated the rescue effort with Grand Canyon Rescue and the local Sheriff’s department. The time elapsed between when the PLB was activated and when the helicopter arrived was less than 2 hours.
“Nobody thinks they’re going to get into an emergency situation, but anyone who is out in the wilderness should carry a PLB. This rescue is a perfect example of how experience isn’t always enough to keep you safe.” said Kevin Stoltz, President of PLB Rentals, LLC. “When Jason gets out of the hospital, I’m told he wants to do everything he can to tell his story and the critical role having a PLB played in his rescue”.
PLB Rentals rents PLBs nationwide through their website at www.PLBRentals.com starting at $49/week.
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