SPOT Messenger Credited to Saving Live of Canoeist in Northern Quebec

Wednesday, 03 December 2008
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SPOT MessangerI found this interesting press release from Globalstar, makers of the SPOT Satellite Messenger.

Back in July Rejean Able was on a six week wilderness trek in Nunavik, located in the remote Ungava Peninsula of Northern Quebec when he lost control of his canoe and flipped in a set of rapids.

He got injured when he was submerged because his feet where caught under the seat of his canoe. Luckily he was able to extract himself and swim for shore but by the time he got to get to shore, his canoe and all of his supplies were lost downstream.

Due to good planning, he had his SPOT Messenger in his pocket, and was able to send a 911 distress message for help. The emergency response center picked up the message and was able to contact a surveying helicopter in the area to extract Mr. Able.

"SPOT literally saved my life," said Able. "Without it I would be dead." Upon rescue, Mr. Able learned that the location of his accident was at least a 15 day walk in to the nearest village.

In the press release that Globalstar released this week telling the story; they said that they have assisted in the rescue of over 80 individuals since releasing the SPOT a year ago.

When I read about these types of stories, I find there often is lots of discussion and criticism by people who weren't there. They feel that they are able to interpret the news article and figure out better solutions that the paddler or adventurer should to keep them out of trouble. I'm not going to do that. I just thought it was a pretty cool story to share.

That online criticism happened to a friend of mine several years ago. He got in an accident that was documented in Sea Kayaker Magazine. The details in the article were correct but he still got lots of bad email and was trashed talked on various online forums. His argument back to them was always the same, "You weren't there so how do you know you wouldn't have done the same thing? Until you have been in that exact same situation, you don't need to be mean about your armchair criticism."

More info: CNN Money



David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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