Our group of 4 were near the end of a 5 day trip over the Richmond Alpine Route in the Richmond Range near Nelson, NZ. We were only 1.5 km from the road end where we were to be picked up, when unexpected heavy rain cause tributaries and the main river to very quickly rise and flood (the main river went from 3 to 128 cumecs in a short period of time). We ended up trapped on a spur between 2 flooded tributaries, unwilling to attempt a crossing. The force of the water in a normally ankle deep stream was enough to be rolling boulders. We set up the tent, intending on waiting out the weather and hoping the river levels would drop. The tent ended up leaking and one of our group was unable to keep warm.
We had a lot of discussion on options, but eventually, knowing another weather front was due in the next day and the deteriorating condition of a member of the group, we chose to call for help. We set off our ACR ResQLink beacon late afternoon and were very extremely grateful when the competent crew of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter winched us out of heavy bush a couple of hours later.
Words of Wisdom
Being so small I never think twice before throwing in [the ACR ResQLink] for adventures. This experience showed how important this can be. Such a short distance from the road, and unable to move was so frustrating, but the beacon allowed us to get help before the situation got worse.
It may be small, but it's tough. The ResQLink™ PLB Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a GPS-enabled rescue beacon that's suited for outdoor adventures of all sizes (think: everything from hiking and cycling to hunting and fishing). Should you run into an unexpected situation, the ResQLink PLB will relay your location to a network of search and rescue satellites. PLBs have helped save thousands of people's lives.