SPOT Saves

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SPOT to the rescue in a medical emergency in Lapland

Phillip Pauli

For many years Tomas Jönsson has relied on his SPOT Gen3 for security on his fishing adventures, which take him to some of the most remote corners of the world. Tomas regularly heads off to areas with no mobile phone service and needs the reassurance of knowing he has a way to communicate in case of an emergency.

He chose a SPOT Gen3 because of the device’s excellent battery life, affordable cost, its light weight and its reliability in all weathers. The latter is particularly important when Tomas travels north from his home in Sweden to places that are -30 degrees C in winter.

In summer 2017, Tomas and a friend took a helicopter to Lapland, Sweden’s most remote wilderness, for a four-day fishing trip. The aim was to catch and release Arctic Grayling, a type of salmon that grows large in this isolated environment. As the crow flies, they were 100 km from civilisation, at least a 10-day hike by foot.

Not everything went to plan on this trip. On the third day, Tomas felt very ill when his blood pressure suddenly became erratic, so he pressed the SOS button on his SPOT Gen3. After two or three hours, a North Sweden Police helicopter landed nearby and quickly transported Tomas to the closest hospital in Kiruna. His friend chose to stay at the camp and wait for the scheduled helicopter the following day.

“I was lucky to survive,” said Tomas. “I owe my life to my SPOT Gen3. My blood pressure went through the roof and I needed specialist attention and medication urgently. Given that I was a long way from the nearest person, yet alone a hospital, it was incredible that I could get help so quickly.”