Ocean Signal’s popular rescueME PLB1 personal locator beacon has played an integral part in the rescue of 83-year-old Japanese tourist.
The tourist, who was on his 21st visit to New Zealand, spends about a month a year here, fishing for rainbow trout.
This year, before heading into the middle of the large Kaweka Forest Park, he was persuaded to buy and carry a personal locator beacon. He chose Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1, mainly due to its tiny size (the rescueME PLB1 is the world’s smallest personal locator beacon).
It proved to be a very timely purchase. While returning to his tent after a day’s fishing, he became disoriented in the dusk. After just missing his campsite in the fast-increasing gloom, he stepped on a mossy rock and slipped into the river.
“I drifted away to a small area,” he recalls. “It was so dark I had no idea where I was.”
Concerned that he might not make it through the night, due to his high blood pressure and the possibility of freezing temperatures, the tourist activated his rescueME PLB1.
Just a few hours later, a rescue helicopter was hovering above him and, although it could not land immediately due to the lack of visibility, it returned at first light and took him to safety.
While the 83-year-old is unsure whether he will return to fish in New Zealand, he is adamant that, if he does, he will bring his rescueME PLB with him.
“It saved my life!”
About a third smaller than other PLBs, the rescueME PLB1 is ideal for all outdoor activities, including boating, hunting, tramping and cycling.
Because of its small size it is easy and unobtrusive to wear, meaning it is always close at hand, even when the wearer is separated from their boat or kayak.
It is simple to activate, using just one hand, even in the most challenging of conditions. Once activated, it will transmit accurate position data from its 66 channel GPS (using the designated 406MHz search and rescue satellite communication system), as well as transmitting a 121.5MHz homing beacon (which will be received by search and rescue helicopters or vessels) for a minimum of 24 hours, while the integrated strobe light ensures maximum visibility.
Designed to easily attach to any lifejacket, it is completely waterproof, comes with its own flotation pouch and is available nationwide through Lusty and Blundell’s network of leading marine dealers.