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Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days

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avatar Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days
October 21, 2009 12:45PM
Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days

On the evening of September 23rd, rangers began a search for hikers who repeatedly activated their rented SPOT satellite tracking device. The GEOS Emergency Response Center in Houston reported that someone in the group of four hikers – two men and their two teenaged sons – had pressed the “help” button on their SPOT unit. The coordinates for the signal placed the group in a remote section of the park, most likely on the challenging Royal Arch loop. Due to darkness and the remoteness of the location, rangers were unable to reach them via helicopter until the following morning. When found, they’d moved about a mile and a half to a water source. They declined rescue, as they’d activated the device due to their lack of water. Later that same evening, the same SPOT device was again activated, this time using the “911” button. Coordinates placed them less than a quarter mile from the spot where searchers had found them that morning. Once again, nightfall prevented a response by park helicopter, so an Arizona DPS helicopter whose crew utilized night vision goggles was brought in. They found that the members of the group were concerned about possible dehydration because the water they’d found tasted salty, but no actual emergency existed. The helicopter crew declined their request for a night evacuation, but provided them with water before departing. On the following morning, another SPOT “help” activation came in from the group. This time they were flown out by park helicopter. All four refused medical assessment or treatment. The group’s leader had reportedly hiked once at the Grand Canyon; the other adult had no Grand Canyon and very little backpacking experience. When asked what they would have done without the SPOT device, the leader stated, “We would have never attempted this hike.” The group leader was issued a citation for creating a hazardous condition (36 CFR 2.34(a)(4)).
avatar Re: Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days
October 21, 2009 01:46PM
Medical Assessment: Brain Dead
avatar Re: Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days
October 27, 2009 02:51PM
I've heard that Spot costs $100/year in addition to the hardware. Perhaps the service provider should pay something to the rescue agencies for the bad activations like this one?
avatar Re: Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days
October 27, 2009 03:22PM
Quote
eeek
I've heard that Spot costs $100/year in addition to the hardware. Perhaps the service provider should pay something to the rescue agencies for the bad activations like this one?


Idiot Insurance Tax/Surcharge?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2009 03:23PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Grand Canyon Hikers Evacuated After Three SPOT Activations In Three Days
October 27, 2009 03:28PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
eeek
I've heard that Spot costs $100/year in addition to the hardware. Perhaps the service provider should pay something to the rescue agencies for the bad activations like this one?


Idiot Insurance Tax/Surcharge?

They do offer insurance and I've heard it's only $8/year. That's quite cheap considering one is already paying $100/year for the service.
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