Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Rescued from flooding house

Name Malcolm Girling
Product Name ResQLink+ PLB
Date of Rescue 05/05/2013
Saved By Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
Beacon Purchased From Force4 Chandlery
Lives Saved 1 person; 2 cats

At 6.45 pm on 5 December 2013, a tidal surge hit the village of South Ferriby, just south of the River Humber in the UK. No warning was ever made by authorities to evacuate homes before the flood.

I was in my house at the time, along with my two cats, Treacle and Banjo. Being severely disabled and knowing that the best advice is is to stay put in the face of imminent danger, I did just that. I ushered the cats into the bedroom where they sat quietly frightened throughout the whole ordeal. The water was entering my home via the external door and the ground floor toilet. I figured that if the waters did not rise any higher than the height of the water spout that was then gushing from the toilet, then we would all be OK.

I rang the emergency services from a land-line phone but water entering the house meant the connection was lost. I could not get a signal on the mobile phone either. Luckily, I kept the ACR ResQLink+ Personal Locator Beacon in a bug-out bag in the bedroom cupboard and, within no time, it was blasting its signal through the bedroom window. I also received a flashing beacon free with my ResQLink+ from Force4 and set that off too. I had registered my sister as a contact and she guessed what the emergency was and was able to inform the Coastguard when they called her. The Coastguard arranged for Humberside Fire & Rescue to extricate my two cats and me from the situation.

PLBs have only been legal for use on land in the UK for less than 3 years and I had only known of the existence of such devices for less than 3 months and bought the ResQLink+ less than 3 weeks before the flood! That may well be a record time between first purchase and first use and I wonder if it's the first instance of someone being rescued from their own home because of a PLB? The photo is of me and my two rescued cats in the room we were rescued from, after my home was restored following the floods. I wish I could have joined your club earlier but all my belongings, including the ResQLink+, had been put into storage by the insurance company. I only found my saviour today, when I got my storage boxes back!

Thanks to the team who developed the ResQLink+. It worked flawlessly inside my house and I managed to set it off in the pitch dark!