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- Publicerad torsdag, 15 mars 2012 10:01
A British man, Chris Painter has been successfully rescued from the wilderness of the Kahurangi National Park in New Zealand after activating his McMurdo Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) on Wednesday 7th March.
61 year old Chris Painter injured his knee during a ten day fishing trip and being alone and unable to move, was in desperate need of help. Luckily Mr Painter, who had emigrated to New Zealand from Ilkley, West Yorkshire eight years ago was carrying a PLB, which he had purchased in the UK ten years previously. With no mobile phone signal available he took the decision to activate the device.
The PLB, a Fast Find Plus from leading emergency distress beacon manufacturer McMurdo, alerted the emergency services in Falmouth, 11,000 miles away where the device had been registered, using the global 406 MHz search and rescue satellite communication system, COSPAS SARSAT*. In turn they contacted their rescue colleagues in New Zealand to coordinate Mr Painter’s rescue.
Mr Painter, who is now recovering at his New Zealand home and walking with the aid of crutches, commented “I bought this Fast Find PLB ten years ago and I always carry it whenever I venture in to remote locations. I was extremely grateful to have it with me during my fishing trip in the Kahurangi National Park, where I came into difficulty.
“I would like to thank the rescue services for their amazing help and speed – just one hour and 20 minutes after activating my Fast Find PLB a rescue helicopter landed and I was being attended to by a paramedic.”
PLBs and the UK law
The Fast Find PLB can now be used in the UK for outdoor activities. It is recommended that anyone venturing into remote areas where there are limited means of communication carries a PLB, which gives a direct method of alerting the search and rescue authorities, no matter how remote the location. Although PLBs have been used on land in numerous countries around the world for many years, in January 2012 a change of legislation was passed by OFCOM allowing PLBs to be used on land in the UK, in addition to maritime and aviation environments, marking a real breakthrough in the safety of outdoor enthusiasts venturing in to remote areas of the country.
As well as sending out a distress signal by satellite, McMurdo’s Fast Find PLB also transmits a 121.5MHz homing signal, to enable search and rescue teams to home in on the beacon once in the vicinity. The Fast Find 210 PLB has a 50-channel GPS, to give precise location co-ordinates, and make recovery speedier and more efficient. It is also subscription free and does not rely on commercial call centres. The device is rugged, compact, lightweight and easy to carry tucked into a pocket or on a belt. With a simple activation process and emergency signal transmission guaranteed for at least 24 hours via a powerful 5 watt output, the Fast Find is easy and reliable to use.
For further details on McMurdo’s Fast Find range and a list of stockists, visit www.fastfindplb.com.