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S.O.S. on SPOT Device Proves Life-Saving Twice for Canadian Man

Ontario Rescue
Rescue Profile: Randy Cota
Ticket # 23488

“What I really like about your system, not only does it get in touch with police, it gets in touch with search and rescue.” – Randy Cota, Survivalist from remote area of northern Ontario, Canada

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First SPOT X Initiated Rescue

Darrel Comeau

Rescue Profile: Darrel Comeau
Case # 24249

Darrel Comeau was on a four day trip to climb a remote mountain in Willmore Wilderness Park, located in Alberta, Canada, which is a 4,600 square kilometer wilderness area adjacent to the world-famous Jasper National Park.

Around 4am, Darrel’s dog Kitty, punched him in the face and started whining. Darrel woke up and rolled over to hush him. That’s when he realized he wasn’t breathing. Darrel’s airway was completely blocked. His experience working with Grande Prairie Technical Search and Rescue, prepared him for this, and he stuffed his finger in his throat to clear whatever was blocking his airway. Turns out it was his Uvula, with a large infected mass that was falling into his airway. He continued to struggle to breathe. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t scream for help. So with his vision blurred from the chocking tears, Darrel reached for SPOT X clipped to his bag and pressed S.O.S.

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Experienced Hikers + Severe Weather = SPOT Rescue

Ian Scott

Rescue Profile: Ian Scott
Case # 20588

In late September, three experienced mountain hikers were on a two-night backpacking trip in Kananaskis Country, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. On the second day of their trip, a heavy snowstorm hit and made it difficult to find the trail out. The trio was forced to retreat to the previous campground they had stayed at the night before. They had brought additional food and fuel and had ample shelter with two tents between the three of them. They were unsure of how long they would be stuck in the mountains and with dwindling cell phone reception, how they would call for help if needed.

Even though they were familiar with the backcountry location, the severe weather made it difficult to navigate. In the midst on the storm, they were able to follow tracks from other hikers but the heavy snowfall eventually covered the tracks up. Ian put fresh batteries in his Garmin GPS on Friday and only used the unit during the hiking portions of their trip. By Sunday afternoon, the cold weather and elevation had drained the batteries and they felt the best step to take was to retrace their steps back to Ribbon Lake and wait out the snowstorm.

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Rescue Profile: Dan Sumpter
Case #20914

Dan Sumpter went hunting in the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest near Frazier Park, California. He was hunting with his friend Jay, who while experienced with firearms, had never shot a buck before. At first light, the duo started hiking up a deer trail they previously scouted that looked promising. Less than thirty minutes into the hike, they spotted a legal buck at the top of one of the mountains that was looking straight at them. After debating if the shot was going to be safe because of how close the buck was to the mountain, they decided it was. Dan handed over the shooting sticks so his friend could get his first opportunity at a buck. Watching the buck, Dan coached his friend to concentrate on his breathing. The first shot missed, but the buck didn’t move. Jay whispered, "I pulled it" and Dan said, "He hasn’t moved, concentrate on your breathing and just squeeze the trigger". Dan could see and hear the hit from over a hundred yards away and knew the buck was either dead or hadn’t moved too far. The duo was elated and Jay said, "Buck Fever on that first shot I pulled, I can’t believe he didn’t!"

Jay started up the mountain to find the buck and Dan stayed back so he could help direct Jay over the radio to the spot where the buck was when shot. Once Jay got to the spot, Jay radioed "We have a dead deer" and Dan responded with "Congrats, I will be right there!" Dan started up the mountain and took a more direct route that put the peak of the mountain between him and Jay.

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Shannon Cunningham

Rescue Profile: Shannon Cunningham
Case #20130

Shannon Cunningham has been an avid backpacker for 9 years. For two of those years, she has carried SPOT Gen3 to use in case of emergency and this past summer was the first time she had to use the S.O.S. on her SPOT.

Shannon was on a 5 day solo hike on the northern most tip of Vancouver Island in Canada on the North Coast Trail. On the first day of her hike, she slipped at camp and fell dislocating and breaking her shoulder in four different places.

The Canadian Coast Guard, out of Port Hardy, received her location and rescued her by boat. After arriving to the ER, the doctors verified Shannon’s shoulder injuries.

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