Rescue stories


by IERCC Duty Officer on December 2, 2014

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard medevaced an injured 62-year-old man from his sailboat Thursday approximately 100 miles east of Kill Devil Hills.

Watchstanders at the Fifth Coast Guard District command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received notification at approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center, reporting they received a distress message from the sailboat Austina. The report stated the boat operator fell, injured his hip and was in need of medical assistance.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the crew of the MCT Matterhorn to assist. The MCT Matterhorn is registered with the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System.

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IERCC Rescues Cyclist Using Spot Messenger

by IERCC Duty Officer on October 8, 2014

SPOT LLC, Rescue Profile - Case #12629

Bill Peschka, a Tour Divide Veteran, was cycling in Wyoming as part of an ultra-distance mountain bike race following the Continental Divide from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM.

One June afternoon, Peschka was cycling in Sweetwater County where he stumbled upon Andreas Fassbender, a German cyclist heading north to Canada. Fassbender had been catapulted off his bike after hitting a patch of deep sand with the front wheel.

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US Coast Guard Rescues Injured Hiker Near Shubrick Peak

by IERCC Duty Officer on July 21, 2014

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 peaked 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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Sailing Adventure Ends in Rescue off the Coast of Nicaragua

by IERCC Duty Officer on June 23, 2014

For Gulfport, Mississippi native Zach Morrison, adventure has always come calling. A former golf pro, avid traveller and sailing enthusiast, Zach says that he’s known among his friends for attempting crazy things. So when he announced that he was planning to purchase and restore a 1937 55-foot schooner and sail it from Los Angeles to Gulfport through the Panama Canal his friends weren’t surprised, but they were worried for him nonetheless.

Zach named the restored schooner Rebel Yell as a tribute to his alma mater Ole Miss and because it was so symbolic of his passion for adventure and the freedom to explore. Once he finished the schooner’s restoration, he asked a friend and his father if they wanted to join him on the trip of a lifetime. They said yes, and the group began making preparations to leave, including the evaluation of what gear to take.

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Horse and rider rescued following slide down steep canyon on the famed Pacific Crest Trail in California

by IERCC Duty Officer on June 23, 2014

Two-way communications capability of DeLorme inReach assured timely dispatch of appropriate resources and helicopter rescue.

Paul V. and his wife Gail have dreamed of riding the entire length of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail for several years. They had spent many hours researching all the gear they would need to take on the ride, personally conducting numerous evaluations to determine the perfect combination of the lightest weight, safest and most effective options. Knowing that the trail could be very dangerous in certain areas and that cell coverage would be intermittent, the couple chose to take an inReach with them in case they ran into any trouble.

“We planned for just about everything, but I didn’t realize how valuable my inReach was going to be,” said Paul. “If you’re going to be in a remote wilderness area, it’s wrong not to invest in something that will ensure that you can live to tell about it.”

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Lost Hunter

by IERCC Duty Officer on April 8, 2014

Published by SPOT

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.

As usual, Bill had his SPOT device with him on a recent elk hunting trip in Beaverhead National Forest, Montana. Having a SPOT device was especially important because the location was 20 miles from the nearest paved road and 40+ miles from cell coverage, with no other hunters or personnel within 800 to 1000 square miles.

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B.C.: 2 fathers, group of 8 kids rescued after unplanned night on mountain near Rossland

by IERCC Duty Officer on February 12, 2014

ROSSLAND – The overnight rescue of two fathers and a group of eight kids from the backcountry of a ski resort in the West Kootenays should be a warning to others to stay in bounds unless they have a GPS tracking device, a search and rescue expert says.

The group – up from Washington State and staying at one of the adult’s resort properties – spent a chilly night huddled with rescuers after accidentally going out of bounds on a new portion of Red Mountain Resort, near Rossland.

“A little bit of a mistake and an accident got them out of bounds and into trouble,” said Rossland RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dave Johnson.

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