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Crew of Four Rescued From Deadly Waves on a Moonless Night

Rescue Profile: Frank
Case #: 14356


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Frank Rawley's sailboat


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, making the sails wreathed. 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 flipped and capsized,” said Frank. “We were breaking offshore in only hundreds of feet of water with wind gusts at 50 miles per hour. We deployed a drogue, but eventually the waves ripped it off.”

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Stranded on top of an Alpine mountain


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Thio Christian is an expert paraglider and flies professional tandem outings in Locarno. His flight history is logged here. This year, during the cross-country season in the southern part of the Alps, he realised the true value of a satellite messenger:

One fine day this spring, I set out on a cross-country flight near Bellinzona with another four pilots. Weather conditions were good with a little westward wind which occasionally made it hard to get the thermals right.

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Death Valley Rescue: SPOT Was There When No One Else Was

Rescue Profile: Tom
Case #: 13665


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Tom Madlem had been riding motorcycles for 50 years. Death Valley was one trip he had never taken before though. He and a friend had planned to take 2 weeks off and make the ride. However, the first part of the trip was going to force Madlem to commit the “cardinal sin” - biking alone.

This meant he would be riding alone through the desert for two days before meeting up with his friend. After his wife and son begged him not to go by himself, he was then convinced to purchase his SPOT GEN3™ for the trip so his family would have peace of mind. He made it the first day just fine alone. Tuesday morning, he had not ridden 10 miles when he took a hard fall on his bike.

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Coast Guard Rescues Injured Hiker Near Shubrick Peak

Rescue Profile: Dale and John
Case #: 12299



Dale, a retired community college administrator and instructor, is an avid hiker, backpacker and cyclist. At the age of 67, he now spends most of his free time hiking through the backcountry of Oregon and California alone and with fellow backpackers.

Like many hikers, Dale often worried about connectivity during his travels. This is why SPOT piqued his interest when reading one of his favorite magazines. Soon after, Dale visited REI to purchase his first SPOT device. In celebration of Memorial Day, Dale and 7 other hikers ranging from ages 51 to 74 decided to take a five day trip to Mattole Beach Campground near Petrolia, California. This time, he made sure to add his new SPOT Gen 3™ as a "must bring" item.

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Bill and his comrade

Rescue Profile: Bill and his comrade
Case #: 11936


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Bill, current President of Ruby Valley Search and Rescue and a "retired" Army pilot, is an avid hunter and fisherman. Needless to say, Bill spends a lot of time outdoors; he jokingly states he knows most trees on a first name basis.

Several years ago, Bill developed a preparedness plan, which included having a SPOT device. He even developed a messaging system for friends and family on his contact list: (1) Check In message in the morning and evening to family and friends, (2) Check In messages back to back to let them know he got an elk, and (3) Check In messages back to back to let everyone know that he was headed out of the backcountry.

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