Rescue Profile: Matt Oliver
Case #: 15932
Matt Oliver and four friends picked a beautiful day for snowmobiling in Steamboat Springs, CO. They set off on their ride around 10 AM and traveled a familiar route. A few hours into their ride, they decided to take a different path back to their vehicles. The new path led them to a creek ravine and they realized they were getting into dangerous avalanche terrain. They began strategizing the best way out.
The group of five experienced snowmobilers vacillated about driving back through their old tracks, but after determining their location via their GPS system, they decided it was safer to head down the creek for another half mile rather than driving back uphill. The thick blankets of snow made it very difficult for them to make much distance and they knew they couldn't continue on without putting themselves at a greater risk.
Luckily, Matt and his friends were well prepared with saws, thermals, boiling pots and Matt's SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. "I pressed the S.O.S. on my SPOT to alert GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center, knowing that it would not be until morning when search and rescue could safely come help us," commented Matt. They made a fire and set up camp for the night. Meanwhile, GEOS contacted Matt's mom and dad to let them know of the situation. The family was advised that it would take some time for search and rescue to assist due to the situation of snow and avalanche danger.
Rescue Profile: Cam Villeneuve
Case #: 16054
SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger Rescue:
Cam Villeneuve is a recreational pilot from the Thompson Valley Sport Aircraft Club in Kamloops, BC who loves to fly year-round. He has even installed skis on his small aircraft so that he can "land everywhere, on land, on hill sides and on lakes."
In the mid-afternoon of February 1st, 2016, Villeneuve was returning to Blair Fields Airport, wrapping up a 45-minute flight. It was a beautiful sunny day and he was having fun landing and taking off from frozen lakes on the south side of Kamloops. On his approach to the landing strip, at a distance of about 3 miles, the aircraft "became very unstable and hard to control" says Villeneuve. "All of a sudden I was looking straight down at the ground from about 400 feet."
Rescue Profile: Alfred Moore
Case #: 15780
Alfred Moore, an outdoor aficionado from Southern California, has been riding motorcycles for four years, on average 3-5 days a week. He and seven of his buddies recently went on a three-day weekend camping trip in the Los Padres National Forest. On the second day, Alfred and one other were tailing at the end of their group when he hit a switchback in the soft sand and took a hard fall.
After his friend helped pull his bike off of him, Alfred realized he was in bad shape. "The initial pain was horrific, but then I lost feeling in my leg below my knee cap," he stated. Alfred's first instinct was to call his wife, Tiffanie. After dropped calls due to poor cell coverage, he grabbed his SPOT Gen3 that his wife convinced him to purchase just days prior to trip and pressed the S.O.S button.
Back at home, Tiffanie received the call from GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center. She had told GEOS that she suspected he was in trouble after the attempted calls he had made earlier but didn't know what was wrong. They assured her help was on the way to his location and that they would be back in touch with her to provide an update.
Rescue Profile: Michael Herrera
Case #: 15697
On October 23 in DeKalb County, Alabama, retired Houston firefighter Michael Herrera was alone and off-roading on his dual-sport bike when he took a hard fall. Although initially disoriented, Michael’s experience as a first responder told him that his injuries were more serious than he could see so he reached for his SPOT Gen3® and pressed the S.O.S. button.
Back at home, his wife LaDonna grew concerned when she realized that the SPOT Gen3 was not tracking Michael anymore on his SPOT Shared Page and she knew in her heart that he needed emergency assistance.
Rescue Profile: Larry
Case #: 15540
While elk hunting in northern New Mexico, SPOT user Larry Reeves became a part of a real-life rescue scenario when another hunter frantically reached out to him for help for his partner. “A fellow hunter from another camp raced in to my camp saying his partner had a broken leg after being thrown from a horse. He was going in and out of shock.” After assessing the hunter’s injuries and wrapping his leg as best as he could, Larry realized that trying to move the injured hunter would only cause additional trauma. With limited resources and no access to immediate medical attention, Larry knew the best option for this injured hunter was to press the SOS button on his SPOT device.
Within minutes of the SOS activation, search and rescue efforts were underway. Dispatchers began tracking Larry's coordinates in an effort to pinpoint his exact location. After passing along those coordinates to the helicopter search and rescue team out of Santa Fe, help was on the way. Larry recalls the rescue, "The search and rescue helicopter landed in a forest opening at night. It was pretty cool."