Announced in Auckland at this year’s Hutchwilco Boat Show, new survivors recently rescued in New Zealand and Tasmania have joined ACR Electronics SurvivorClub, a ground-breaking initiative which promotes the use of 406 MHz beacons and provides a free replacement beacon for all its members.
Around 200 people who have activated an ACR Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or ARTEX Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) in a life-threatening emergency have now joined SurvivorClub.
Established and monitored by safety and survival expert ACR, SurvivorClub uses a testimonial-based educational approach by publishing first-hand stories from real-life survivors who have activated their beacons. The program provides compelling evidence that 406 MHz beacons should be a part of every boater’s safety kit.
Some amazing and inspiring stories of survival have been featured in the club from people of all ages. The ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB can be used for a range of different activities on land and at sea, with many of the survivors hiking or hunting in remote areas, or fishing, boating or sailing.
All the survivors have come forward to share their story, raise awareness about safety equipment and best practices, and, in some cases, try to prevent anyone else making the same mistakes. When possible, the used beacons are mounted on a plaque which is presented to the store where the beacon was originally purchased to serve as real-life testimony.
Mikele D’Arcangelo, Marketing Director for ACR Electronics, said: “Although we design and supply our beacons to provide reassurance and make sure people have access to a reliable device should the worst happen, at the same time we hope that these products are never required. We never like to hear about an emergency situation, but we are still very proud that our products are making a difference to so many people. SurvivorClub continues to be an incredible educational resource and we know it is only made possible by our survivors. They voluntarily share their stories in the hopes of educating others of what can go wrong and why it is so important to be prepared with a safety plan and a properly registered distress beacon.”
The latest members of ACR SurvivorClub include the following:
- Dylan Holzheimer fell from a cliff while spear fishing at Taiharuru Bay, north of Kennedy Bay, near Auckland. A friend activated his ACR Electronics ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon and rescue services arrived by helicopter within an hour. John Walker, Coromandel Fire Brigade chief, said: "I just thought it was a great piece of forward thinking. It doesn't matter if two calls go to the same place, it's just getting there and getting there quickly. It’s great because there's a need for them [PLBs]. We're an isolated spot and cell phones don't always work.”
- Ed Bastick broke his leg when he fell on Federation Peak in Tasmania and was stranded on steep, rocky terrain. He activated his ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived quickly to winch him off the mountain and take him to the hospital. Ed said: “My advice to other climbers and hikers regarding PLBs is to always carry one. It’s far better to have one and not need it, than need it and not have it. For us, carrying a PLB ensured there was a good ending to a situation that could have been much, much worse. I would like to thank ACR Electronics for developing such a quality product that survived the fall better than I did and still functioned.”
- Nelson Mountain Bike Club member Brent was riding the difficult Old Ghost Road when he rounded a corner and crashed into a ravine, smashing his left wrist, cheekbones, left shoulder blade and two ribs. Luckily, his father-in-law Bryce Buckland, had lent him his ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB and his friends immediately activated the beacon. The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter soon arrived to winch the injured biker to hospital. Beacon owner Bryce said: “We thank the rescue team so much, but without the ACR beacon he may have died. This little PLB is a marvel and I continue to tell my friends how great they are. This is another life saved! I am also extremely impressed that ACR replaces PLBs when used for a life-saving situation.”
SurvivorClub is a former winner of the Neptune Award for Marketing Innovation within the marine industry, presented by the Marine Marketers of America.
Read real-life testimonies can be viewed at https://www.acrartex.com/survivor-club/. For more information on ACR Electronics’ beacons and other safety equipment, go to https://www.acrartex.com/ or visit ACR at the Hutchwilco Boat Show.