Discussion Topic: Emergency Beacons and “Yuppie 911”
What would it take for you to summon Search and Rescue? Lost for a day? Mauled by a bear? Fell...
What would it take for you to summon Search and Rescue? Lost for a day? Mauled by a bear? Fell out of your treestand? How about, tasted some salty water?
From the Associated Press:
Last month two men and their teenage sons tackled one of the world’s most unforgiving summertime hikes: the Grand Canyon’s parched and searing Royal Arch Loop. Along with bedrolls and freeze-dried food, the inexperienced backpackers carried a personal locator beacon — just in case.
In the span of three days, the group pushed the panic button three times, mobilizing helicopters for dangerous, lifesaving rescues inside the steep canyon walls.
What was that emergency? The water they had found to quench their thirst “tasted salty. . . .”
Because would-be adventurers can send GPS coordinates to rescuers with the touch of a button, some are exploring terrain they do not have the experience, knowledge or endurance to tackle.
Rescue officials are deciding whether to start keeping statistics on the problem, but the incidents have become so frequent that the head of California’s Search and Rescue operation has a name for the devices: Yuppie 911.
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