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Kevin Rooney
03-05-2013, 05:57 PM
I don't wish to muddle the thread re: the recent death of the climber in Huntington's.

In the snow ranger's reports there's this entry:


02-23-2013 Fall on Lion Head Winter Route

On the descent from a summit hike, a hiker fell approximately 50′ down a steep section of the Lion Head route. He injured his lower leg in the fall. One member of the manís party quickly hiked to Hermit Lake to notify USFS Snow Rangers. At the same time, a distress signal was sent using a SPOT satellite device. Snow Rangers responded, found the man ambulatory, and transported him to Pinkham Notch via snow tractor.

For this report it appears that the time lag between activating the Spot device and notification of the USFS Snow Rangers was short. If this is representative of the average notification time lag, it's impressive.

Trail Bandit
03-05-2013, 06:45 PM
The SPOT system works very well BUT if it is overused the system will fail. It was designed for off shore boaters or aircraft or people lost in the wilderness, with no backup that were far from any other way of being found. Too much use will mean that the system fails. I have no idea where the line is drawn but if hikers who are tired or lost on a summer evening pull the plug, the system will be so overloaded that it fails. This is what the cell phone has done in NH. OK, this may take the heat off the NH,F&G but it will not solve the problem. In the above case, the decision to get help from the USFS Snow Rangers was appropriate. Calling out the world wide rescue service might have been delayed a bit. If the system is abused it will end up with some government agency trying to fine people for being negligent in some way.
I seem to remember a discussion on these lines here before. Perhaps in this case the snow rangers responded without the assistance of the satellites. Thank you very much USFS Rangers.

Kevin Rooney
03-05-2013, 07:48 PM
For the snow rangers report above, activating the distress signal is appropriate in my opinion. Even though a member of the man's party had gone for help, there's no guarantee he would be able to obtain help, especially given the location - he could have become injured himself. In this instance, I don't see any evidence of misuse.

I'm a member of a couple of BB's in the west, and on one of them a frequent contributor is a long-time Park Service ranger who's participated in many rescues. According to his posts, he - and his fellow rangers - see a few nuisance distress calls, but for the most part he's a big supporter of such devices as well as cell phones. Simply put, in his words - they save lives.

Anything can be abused. The fact that in order to function Spot devices requires an annual $100 subscription fee. That tends to reduce the potential of inappropriate false alarms.

DougPaul
03-05-2013, 08:07 PM
The SPOT system works very well BUT if it is overused the system will fail. It was designed for off shore boaters or aircraft or people lost in the wilderness, with no backup that were far from any other way of being found. Too much use will mean that the system fails. I have no idea where the line is drawn but if hikers who are tired or lost on a summer evening pull the plug, the system will be so overloaded that it fails. This is what the cell phone has done in NH. OK, this may take the heat off the NH,F&G but it will not solve the problem. In the above case, the decision to get help from the USFS Snow Rangers was appropriate. Calling out the world wide rescue service might have been delayed a bit. If the system is abused it will end up with some government agency trying to fine people for being negligent in some way.
Are you confusing SPOT with a PLB?
* PLB: uses the international Cospas-Sarsat system (same as the ELT and EPIRB) to receive and send the distress calls to the appropriate SAR organization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLB
* SPOT is commercial satellite messaging system using the Globalstar satellite system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPOT_Satellite_Messenger


The report does not say whether the Rangers responded to the the SPOT message or the party member who hiked down to Hermit Lake (or both).

Doug

summitseeker
03-05-2013, 09:08 PM
I am by far not an expert on these devices but what I can say is that the famed inshore saltwater legend Jose Wejebe was a spokesman for Spot Connect.

For those of you who don't know who this fishing master was he was certainly not someone who would associate his name with any products that were less than the best. His sole sponsors for most of his career were Shimano, Costa del Mar, and Yeti Coolers. These are three companies with outstanding reputations. I was at Jose's funeral last year and I feel that a man of his caliber would only entrust his life (past tense) to products that he had in fact tested and found to be reliable. From what I know about Spot Connect is that it is a satellite uplink that can be synched with a smart phone to enable calls, texts, or one can just push the designated distress button on the device to activate the beacon. This product works when there is no cell phone reception available and from what I have read it is simple to use and operate.

It may not be the best technology that money can buy but from what I know about this product it is a life saving device that most people can afford.

IMHO
Z

Trail Bandit
03-06-2013, 07:30 AM
I apologize to DougPaul and everybody else, I did confuse the SPOT system with the Cospas-Sarsat system. Sorry

DougPaul
03-06-2013, 11:29 AM
I apologize to DougPaul and everybody else, I did confuse the SPOT system with the Cospas-Sarsat system. Sorry
No apology needed. We all get confused on occasion...

SPOT and PLBs are similar enough (to the user) that I suspect many people confuse them.

Doug

hammerhead
03-09-2013, 01:55 PM
I am by far not an expert on these devices but what I can say is that the famed inshore saltwater legend Jose Wejebe was a spokesman for Spot Connect.

For those of you who don't know who this fishing master was he was certainly not someone who would associate his name with any products that were less than the best. His sole sponsors for most of his career were Shimano, Costa del Mar, and Yeti Coolers. These are three companies with outstanding reputations. I was at Jose's funeral last year and I feel that a man of his caliber would only entrust his life (past tense) to products that he had in fact tested and found to be reliable. From what I know about Spot Connect is that it is a satellite uplink that can be synched with a smart phone to enable calls, texts, or one can just push the designated distress button on the device to activate the beacon. This product works when there is no cell phone reception available and from what I have read it is simple to use and operate.

It may not be the best technology that money can buy but from what I know about this product it is a life saving device that most people can afford.

IMHO
Z
Wow, I had no idea that Mr. Wejebe had passed away. I was(am) a huge fan I used to watch him all the time when I lived in FL. Very sad to hear. As for the SPOT, I carry one with me backcountry skiing and trailrunning. The signal seems to be great. Doing a lot of things solo it's a little security blanket but not an excuse to be careless.