Granite Lake, Trinity County, CA, USA
Posted on July 28, 2021 by Sarah
My daughter-in-law Sarah borrowed my ACR ResQLink+ 375 personal locator beacon (PLB) to go on a 4 day backpack trip with her son James and their dog and wanted to have the PLB to feel safe, hoping to never use it. I contacted NOAA, that I previously registered the beacon with, and they said it was okay for her to temporarily use it, requesting I fill in the additional notes section on my NOAA registration form with her name, location, and dates she will be using it.
Their destination was beautiful Granite Lake at El 6,500 feet in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area in northern California. They backpacked up 4,000 vertical feet and 8 miles in on a trail to Granite Lake, set up camp and enjoyed the scenery and camp site next to the lake.
The next day Sarah was hiking around the lake in the afternoon, when she slipped on a rock, fell and sustained a significant fracture of her lower leg making it impossible to walk, her foot was dangling from her ankle and in a lot of pain. She activated the PLB and waited for a rescue team to show up. I got a call from the USAF Search and Rescue office in Florida stating they received a distress signal from my beacon and wanted to confirm it was valid and not a false signal. I confirmed it was serious and she needed immediate assistance as she would not activate it otherwise. I also immediately received a call from the Sacramento, California Search and Rescue office that they received a call from the same USAF S&R office. They then contacted the local Trinity County Sheriff’s office and sent a California Highway Patrol S&R air team by helicopter to her GPS coordinate location provided by the PLB within an hour of her activating it, an amazing short time, much to her relief! Plus within 5-10 feet of her location! They landed quickly on a ridge close to her and hiked down to assess her condition. A second CHP helicopter was called in to assist with the rescue and landed closer to her in a small grassy area along the lake shore that was determined to be safe to land. Due to heavy vegetation along the lake, they had to carry Sarah 100 yards in a stretcher in waste deep water close to the shoreline to the helicopter and then transported her to the regional trauma center where they reset the foot and applied a temporary brace. Her son, dog and camping gear were brought back in a separate helicopter to the CHP base in Redding, CA.
Sarah was so thankful she borrowed the PLB and was rescued so quickly. She, her husband and I could only image what could of happen without the beacon if she had to stay overnight next to the rocks, send her son to go find help and just hope the next day a rescue team would arrive. She is home now and will have surgery performed within a week with her surgeon saying she will fully recover and be able to go back to her active life style once fully healed.
Words of wisdom
I strongly recommend anyone that frequently goes into backcountry camping, or a one-time long through-backpack adventure have a high quality PLB that is registered with NOAA. The CHP S&R team said the ARC PLB she had is an excellent beacon that provides accurate locations within 5-10 feet. A lot of lessor quality beacons only provide a range of 30 miles to the injured person that is no good to S&R teams.
Thank you note
Your ACR ResQLink+ 375 is a high quality excellent PLB that can be trusted when an incident occurs. The simplicity of use in a stressful situation is excellent. Thank you so much for designing and making this device.
Granite Lake, Trinity County, CA, USA
Local Search and Rescue
ResQLink™+Go to product details
- LED strobe light
- Self Test
- 66 Channel GPS
- Easy emergency activation
- Antenna clip
Out of stock