An experienced climber from New South Wales has hailed his Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) as ‘vital’ after he used an ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB to call for rescue following a horrific fall in the Blue Mountains recently.
Chris Monaghan and his climbing partner, Matt, had abseiled down to the base to climb a 200m mixed route called Big Trad Thong at Pierces Pass. While climbing up some loose rock, Chris’s foot hold snapped off and he fell 10 meters, badly injuring his ankle and leaving bone exposed.
He immediately activated his PLB and a helicopter arrived quickly. The climbers waited on a one-foot wide ledge with a large roof above them. Rescuers found them almost immediately but the climbers were in an intricate place to be winched up for rescue. NSW Ambulance and NSW Police Rescue reached Chris, administered pain relief, and lowered him to a ledge 50 meters below. A doctor was then able to straighten Chris’s foot into line and he was moved into an area where he could be winched into the helicopter and then flown to Westmead Hospital in Western Sydney.
Chris spent the next week undergoing three sets of surgeries for a Bilateral Malleolus compound fracture and dislocation of his left ankle.
He said: “It is now 8 weeks post fall and I am able to start putting weight on my foot. I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone that had anything to do with the ACR Electronics ResQLink. If it was not for this product I would have been in pain for a lot longer. My partner would have had to abseil down and hike out of the valley for reception which would have added hours onto my rescue. I take my beacon whenever I head into the bush whether it be hiking, trail running, canyoning or climbing. I always have this vital piece of equipment. It not only helped save me on that particular day, but, whenever I have this equipment, I feel I can push the boundaries with a peace of mind.”
Weighing just 5.4 oz and measuring 4.5 inches in length, the ResQLink uses GPS positioning, a powerful 406 MHz signal and 121.5 MHz homing capability to quickly and accurately relay the user’s position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites. It is small enough to be carried in a pocket, clipped to a backpack or stored inside an inflatable life jacket.
A growing list of survivors who activated ACR Electronics beacons in a life-threatening emergency 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.