PLB AIDS BACKPACKER AFTER FALL LEAVES HER INJURED IN THE FOREST
Posted on August 23, 2023 by Kathleen
My spouse, our son, and myself were on Day Three of a four-day backpacking trip on the Lewis River Trail #31 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Around 13:30, I tripped on a root and fell hard. I knew immediately that something was wrong with my lower right leg near the ankle, but I thought I could carry on. I improvised a brace using a knee support band and attempted to hike further, leaning hard on my hiking pole. I only made it 50 feet or so up the trail before it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to get myself out. I thought about crawling back to the middle trailhead we’d passed, but I couldn’t bend my foot or ankle due to the pain.
It was 14:00 when I made the decision to activate my ACR ResQLink 400 PLB.
Exactly four hours later, we heard a voice calling from down trail. The local sheriff from the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office was the first to arrive on the scene. After verifying some info about my condition and needs, he assured us that two EMTs were right behind him before hiking back out to provide further details to the SAR team.
We soon heard voices calling out for us and two very friendly EMTs from the North Country EMS Rescue Unit arrived. They performed a complete medical assessment, stabilized my injured leg, and relayed further detail to the SAR team via radio.
About 20 minutes later, a crew of six members from The Volcano Rescue Team arrived, carrying more emergency supplies, rescue equipment, and a single-wheel basket. They quickly loaded me up, made sure I was secure and feeling okay, and proceeded to wheel, carry, and pull me out of the forest over two miles of single-track to the staging area, where the Sheriff was directing from.
They transported us back to our car at the trailhead, which was a little over ten miles south of where they took me out. It was confirmed the next day that I fractured my fibula and tore both lateral ligaments.
Activating my PLB was my only option.
I’ve carried this PLB for many years, on many backpacking trips, and I hoped I would never need to use it. But it proved to be the best equipment purchase I’ve ever made.
Words of wisdom
Always carry a PLB! You never know when it might be the only option left for yourself or someone else. Keep your party together and be prepared to spend the night. Always have a backup plan.
Thank you note
So much thanks to ACR for providing such an invaluable service with their ResQLink+ PLB. It worked perfectly! I am eternally grateful to the Skamania County Sheriff, North Country EMS Rescue, and the Volcano Rescue Team for their assistance. Also, much thanks to the people behind the scenes. I don’t know everything that happened out of sight, but it was clear that a great deal of coordination and skill was needed to pull off such a quick and efficient rescue.
Local Search and Rescue
ResQLink™ 400Go to product details
Small but resilient, the ResQLink 400 has been professionally engineered and tested to ensure it can withstand even the harshest elements. This buoyant Personal Locator Beacon requires no subscription for use and can be utilized to enhance your safety in a wide variety of environments. Whether on land, at sea, or in the air, trust that the ResQLink’s satellite precision and military durability, put rescue in the palm of your hands.
Features and Benefits:
- No Subscription Required
- GPS and Galileo GNSS
- Built-In Buoyancy
- Strobe and Infrared Strobe
- Global Coverage
- MEOSAR Compatible
- Small and lightweight
- 5-year battery life
- 24+ hours Operational Life**
- Multi-function Clip System Included