At the end of October 2015, Overleven Survival School based in the Netherlands organised a trip for 19 Dutch adventurers to a remote part of south east Iceland travelling in five modified Land Rover Defender 4x4s.
While one of the Land Rovers was midway across a fast-flowing river of glacier water, a combination of engine failure and deep water resulted in the vehicle becoming stuck on an underwater sandbank.
Rescue Profile: Hiscock
Case #: 15602
Joe Hiscock and his son were looking forward to one of their regular hunting trips to their cabin outside of Burgeo, a rural town situated on the south coast of Newfoundland. Located well off the beaten track with no accessible roads for the last 35 kilometers, the only way in and out of the property is by private helicopter. Snowmobiles are also used in winter months. Since the cabin is in a remote area beyond the reach of both cellular and traditional GSM networks, Joe relies on his SPOT Satellite Messenger to keep in touch with family during his hunting trips. “I use SPOT all year around to stay in touch with my family, to let them know where I am and what I am doing. It’s fantastic.”
Rescue Profile: Garrett
Case #: 15466
Garrett Atkinson and a friend were hiking the Four Pass Loop near Aspen, CO separated by the trail head by over 13 miles in all directions. On the second night, Garrett spent the entire night coughing up blood and fighting his every breath. The next day he tried with all his might to walk out but continued to fall after several attempts. "I was extremely dizzy and nauseated," Garrett remembers. In that moment he knew there was no chance of making it off the trail alone and pressed the SOS button on his
Within two hours, hope had arrived. The helicopter landed and loaded Garrett before taking off to the Aspen Hospital where they found he had developed high-altitude sickness and pulmonary edema.
Rescue Profile: Stan
Case #: 15054
On a Tuesday morning in June, experienced hiker Stan Reese set out on a solo 4 day hike in the mountainous area outside of San Bernardino, California. Everything was going great until day three of his hike. As Reese started to hike towards San Gorgonian Mountain, he looked over his left shoulder to the north and saw heavy smoke. Being a southern California resident, he knew that meant a wildfire had broken out and he would need to abandon his plans immediately.
Reese quickly returned to his campsite, crammed all of his stuff into his pack and started to hike out of the increasingly dangerous area. He visualized the direction of the fire and felt there was no immediate risk in his plan since the smoke was pushing to the east and away from where his car was parked.
Rescue Profile: Frank
Case #: 14356
Frank Rawley is an avid sailor and said he always checks the weather prior to setting sail. Although conditions were listed as fair, he and his crew found themselves in bad weather on the second day of their journey from North Carolina to Pensacola. The forecast had been wrong in both directions and the wind grew extremely rapid, damaging the sails and rigging. It was then that Frank activated the S.O.S. on his SPOT Gen3, alerting GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center of his location.
“If the boat had been parallel with the waves, we would have capsized,” said Frank. “We were 63 miles offshore in 30 foot breaking seas with wind gusts at 50 miles per hour. We deployed a drogue, but eventually the waves ripped it off.”