Press Release

Hiker in Grand Canyon Rescued thanks to Personal Locator Beacon
Hand held Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) use satellite technology to locate individuals lost, injured, or stranded in the wilderness.

MUKILTEO, WA. October 4, 2010 – PLB Rentals, LLC announced that at approximately 8:29 AM on Friday October 1, 2010 a rented Personal Locator Beacon was activated in the Grand Canyon. The PLB was rented to a Denver, CO man who was backpacking in the Grand Canyon.  The PLB distress signal containing location information was received by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Within minutes the AFRCC contacted PLB Rentals, LLC, the emergency contact, and initiated rescue efforts with the National Park Service Search and Rescue group.

A search and rescue helicopter located a man and woman and confirmed the man was the person in distress who had activated the PLB but were unable to land. After dropping a note telling the couple that park rangers were on their way and telling the couple to stay put, the couple were later evacuated via helicopter from the south rim to a hospital in Flagstaff, AZ. The man is reportedly being treated for symptoms related to dehydration.

“The couple backpacking in the Grand Canyon were experienced hikers but sometimes things go wrong”, said Kevin Stoltz, President of PLB Rentals, LLC. “Although nobody ever wants to have to activate a PLB, it’s nice to know that if you need help, you’ll get it. PLBs are the ultimate emergency rescue device and really do take the search out of search and rescue.”

The PLB activated was a McMurdo FastFind 210. Recently put into service at PLB Rentals, LLC, the FastFind 210 weighs in at just 5.5 oz and is about the size of a cell phone. Once activated, the PLB sends a serialized distress signal that is received by NOAA satellites. In addition, both GPS location data and LEOS (Low Earth Orbiting Satellites) Doppler location data is transmitted as part of the distress signal. NOAA then provides the distress signal information to the AFRCC who then coordinates the rescue efforts with the appropriate local Search and Rescue (SAR) agency.

PLB Rentals, LLC is the leading provider of on-line Personal Locator Beacon rentals in the U.S. Since 2003 PLB Rentals, LLC mission has been to provide an easy and inexpensive way to get PLBs in the hands of adventurers who might need them.


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