At this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, safety and survival expert ACR Electronics is sharing real-life testimonies from survivors to highlight the importance of carrying 406MHz beacons.
Survivors from Australia and New Zealand who activated ACR Electronics beacons in a life-threatening emergency in 2016 have joined the ACR SurvivorClub to share their stories and help raise awareness about the best practices to ensure safety, both on land and at sea.
Relating first-hand tales of survival when lost, injured or facing extreme weather conditions while boating, fishing, hiking and hunting, the outdoor enthusiasts came forward to demonstrate the effectiveness of carrying an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) to alert the rescue authorities.
Mikele D’Arcangelo, Marketing Director for ACR Electronics, said: “These survivor stories demonstrate what can go wrong and why it is so important to be prepared with a safety plan and a properly registered distress beacon. Many of our customers participate in a range of outdoor activities, so an ACR beacon, such as the ACR ResQLink PLB, is a potentially life-saving investment and a product which can be carried easily in a pocket or bag when boating, hiking, climbing, hunting and in many other scenarios.”
Ground-breaking initiative SurvivorClub was established by ACR Electronics and has featured more than 100 stories from real-life survivors across the world, providing valuable advice for people about which safety products to carry and when to activate them at sea or when hiking or hunting in remote or hostile regions.
There are more than 30 stories by survivors from Australia and New Zealand posted on ACR’s SurvivorClub. Highlights of testimonials added this year include:
Following a holiday in the Mentawais, the Australian surfer was one of 13 people on board a boat which suffered engine failure on the return trip to Pandang about 35nm from land. An electrical fault also caused the GPS and radio to fail, there was limited water on board and the boat was drifting, so the surfer activated his ACR ResQLink+ PLB. In less than 6 hours, a rescue boat arrived and transferred everyone safely to Pandang.
Working in the Poulter River area in New Zealand, the four crew members were separated by a river in deteriorating conditions. The ACR ResQLink+ PLB was activated and a successful rescue was carried out at first light.
When the family came across a collapsed tourist during a walk to the Rob Roy Glacier in New Zealand, they activated their ACR AquaLink PLB as there was a 10km drive to the nearest land line. The man was rescued by helicopter and flown to Dunedin, and has since made a full recovery.
Planning on climbing Mount Sefton from New Zealand South Island’s Copland Track, the two mountaineers found the terrain to be more difficult than anticipated and decided the descent was too risky. They activated their ResQLink+ PLB, but the rescue authorities could not carry out a night vision approach and returned in the morning to carry out a successful rescue. After spending 13 hours in freezing conditions on the mountain, the survivors urge people to thoroughly research new areas and gather as much local experience as possible before attempting a climb.
Exploring the Ngunguru river in New Zealand with six friends, the tramper fell and landed on his back on a large rock. The injured tramper crawled to more open ground where a friend retrieved and activated his ResQLink+ PLB. He was winched up into a helicopter on a stretcher and taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken Lumbar 1 vertebrae.
On a training weekend, the hunter separated from his group to follow some fresh tracks and slipped and fell, dislocating his shoulder. With light fading, after being stung by wasps and his condition worsening, he activated his ResQLink+ PLB and a helicopter located him shortly afterwards. At the hospital, the hunter’s shoulder was eventually put back in place, but was dislocated for seven hours and needed surgery.
Walking down the Greenstone Valley in New Zealand, the walker discovered an injured German man in a tent with severe lower leg swelling. It was more than a six-hour walk to the nearest road, so the ResQLink+ PLB was activated. A helicopter with two paramedics arrived an hour later and the casualty was flown to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken fibula and tibia.
On a solo mountain trip to a small remote lake in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the hiker slipped and wrenched his knee. Despite resting for two days and taking medication, the terrain was too difficult to attempt and he activated his ResQLink+ PLB. Less than an hour later, the helicopter arrived to transport him for medical treatment.
The 100 survivor mark is celebrated during a landmark diamond anniversary year for ACR Electronics. Over the past 60 years, ACR has had the honor of manufacturing lifesaving equipment for military forces, aviation and space programs, and for maritime and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.
Products by ACR Electronics are available at this year’s Sydney Boat Show through distributors, including AMI Marine, M.O.S.S and Safety Marine Australia.