TrackMe NZ facilitates double rescue

Victoria and Emilie thrilled to have TrackMe NZ back up

Two rescues on inReach 66i in one trip unlikely? Not likely—it happened.

If all is going well you will never need to use the rescue function on your inReach device, but if you do need it, you’ll be so pleased you have it.

Victoria Bruce has called for rescue with her inReach 661 twice. And neither time was for herself.

Victoria and her sevenyear-old daughter Emilie are walking Te Araroa and carrying an inReach as a safety measure. Enjoying being able to message friends and contacts, they were reassured by the SOS button and the ability to call for help if they ever needed it.

Coming to the completion of the Nelson Lakes to Lewis Pass section of the TA, they arrived at Boyle Flats Hut on the St James walkway, around 13 km from Boyle village and the road. A couple they’d met the night before never arrived at the hut.

“However,” Victoria said, “they staggered in early the next morning having camped on the way as the husband was very unwell. The heat in the previous few days had been extreme and he probably had heatstroke.”

The gentleman was unable to continue walking and the couple had no way to contact emergency services.

“I used my InReach 66i to contact the 24/7 support team at TrackMe NZ. They liaised with emergency services and asked some follow up questions. A decision was made to send a helicopter to transport the patient to Christchurch hospital.”

Unbelievably a very similar situation occurred a few days later.

This time it was a young couple, fellow Te Araroa walkers who needed medical assistance.

“They had passed us on the trail,” Victoria says, “but the next morning the husband came back to tell us his wife was unwell. They did have a PLB but were unsure whether or not to activate it. They knew I had my device because they’d met us earlier and heard the story of the rescue from Boyle Flats hut.”

So, using the inReach’s message function to receive guidance from the TrackMe NZ support team, Victoria activated the SOS function and organized a medical extraction.

Victoria says, “It was easy, straightforward and drama free. We were happy to have been able to help these people as the distress of being unwell can become amplified when you’re stuck out in the bush. In walking the TA so far, we’ve seen a lot of people who don’t have any personal safety device. People are happy to spend big bucks on fancy sleeping bags and other gear and but don’t want to spend money on a device they hope they don’t have to use. I find that just ridiculous, especially when they are so easily hired.”

Victoria was really impressed with the speed and professionalism of emergency services as well as with the service from TrackMe NZ’s 24/7 support team.

“They were there when we needed them and helped make a scary situation okay. That was great.”

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