Lost in the Gila National Forest
|Product Name||ResQLink™ PLB|
|Date of Rescue||12/09/2014|
|Saved By||United States Air Force and New Mexico State Police|
|Beacon Purchased From||Amazon.com|
|Lives Saved||1 person|
We started our elk hunt in the pre-dawn darkness in southwestern New Mexico adjacent to the Gila National Forest. There were 4 of us, equipped with radios and warmly dressed. A shot was heard and we determined that Azucena had taken it. We converged to help her with the elk but were unable to find her or raise her on the radios. She had missed the elk but continued to follow the animals toward the continental divide and Pelona mountain. We all continued to search for her and became very concerned around noon( the agreed upon meet time at camp). The weather had worsened and the temperature had dropped to 33-35 degrees and a sleet/snow mixture was falling with increasing winds. The ResQLink was activated at this time and we sought the help of a neighboring ranch. They responded immediately with 4 additional people and ATV's to broaden the search. Darkness fell at approximately 5 p.m. and the situation looked serious indeed.
Azucena realized at about 3 p.m. that she was unsure of her location and the approaching weather and darkness increased the risk of the situation. She constructed a rudimentary shelter of pine branches and duff and placed her fluorescent orange hunting vest on a pole for visibility. She fired off 3 volleys of 3 shots but we were unable to hear them. At about 7 p.m. she saw some distant truck lights and fired her rifle and ran toward the lights.
The New Mexico State Police Sergeant stopped for her and picked her up. After Azucena identified herself, he said that he was out there following a call from the United States Air Force Search and Rescue and was looking for Bruce Storrs who was lost. ( I am the registered owner of the PLB) They made their way over some very rough country to the camp and we were all reunited. The selfless actions of the rancher and his family as well as the ResQLink and the SAR system through the New Mexico State Police all contributed to a positive ending.
God bless you all for making such a dependable device. You may only use it once in a lifetime but it needs to work first time and ours did.
Azucena and Bruce Storrs