ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival


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Rescued Hang Glider!

Meet Mr. Dietch and read his first hand survival story:

On Friday July 10, 2015, I launched my hang glider from Crestline overlooking San Bernardino, CA and headed 13 miles east toward Running Springs. From an altitude of 7,100′ MSL, I decided to cross the gap toward 7,800′ Keller Peak. I have made this flight numerous times over the past 6 years with only a few close calls but no major incidents. During the summer of 2010, a friend crashed his hang glider in a rural area and was lost. Although he was rescued while still unconsciouis the following morning I decided to fly with a NOAA-registered SARSAT beacon. After careful research I chose ACR SARLink 406 for my specific needs. From July, 2010 through July, 2015, I have carried that PLB on approximately 500 flights spanning a thousand hours of flying time. Most of my hang gliding consists of flying as far as I can for the given conditions; which is known as cross-country or X/C flying. I am accustomed to landing places I have never seen and calling friends for a retrieve ride or being followed by vehicle using 2-meter radio for communication.

On this flight the lift rapidly began to fade out as I reached Keller Peak at 6,400′ MSL. It is an 8-mile long glide to clear the Seven Oaks earthen dam located at the source of the Santa Ana River in Mentone, CA. I was already too low to glide out and failed to climb more than a few hundred feet before it was clear to me I wasn’t leaving by hang glider. I glided back toward Running Springs but only continued to bleed altitude. I opted to return toward the foot of Keller Peak where there is an unoccupied hydro-electric plant. My landing strip would be in the boulder-filled, dry Santa Ana River bed. I managed a safe landing between large boulders but was faced with a long hike out late in the day. There is a local population of mountain lions, rattle snakes, coyotes and assorted predatory beings. I had a long hike out down a canyon defined by mountains on either side of the riverbed. Nobody knew my whereabouts as I had been flying solo. Nobody responded to my 2-meter radio calls and there was no cell reception. This was during a recent rash of fires due to the drought but between fires at the time. There are USFS and Sheriff’s helicopter pads are located in a 15-mile radius. Rather than trying to hike out into the night with inadequate supplies, I opted to activate my SARLink as soon as I got out of my harness before I began to break down my equipment.

After 40 minutes without the sound of a helicopter I opted to leave my packed up glider in an obvious spot on the access road and hike out. I had the SARKLink PLB in my harness bag on my back and it was left on and transmitting. After several hours I hit a dead end behind the dam. I began to backtrack to the correct fork in the road when a helicopter finally flew into the canyon toward my landing spot. I continued backtracking as the helicopter flew back out and over my head as I waved in plain sight. I reached for my glass signal mirror with retro-reflective aiming center and lit up the chopper with reflected sunlight as it continued its egress over the dam. Finally, the copper did an about face as the sun was kissing the ridgeline to the West and I was about to go into shade. I was picked up and dropped off by the Mill Creek Ranger Station in Yucaipa, CA without incident. Although my SARLink PLB is equipped with a strobe, there would have been an interval of dusk in which I had no way to signal other than by whistle. Once we exited the helicopter, the pilot showed me his own, well-worn signal mirror and thanked me for using mine along with the PLB. The next day I called the Air Force base where NOAA-registered PLBs are tracked and verified that my beacon signal had gotten picked up two minutes after activation. This was reassuring to me as a significant portion of the sky was blocked by surrounding mountains. The following morning I was able to drive back in with a friend on his Jeep 4X and recovered my glider. I went flying that afternoon.

– See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/survivors/stories/2015/dietch-long-beach-ca#sthash.uOKGTa5E.dpuf

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Rescued at Sea!

Meet Mr. Cook and read his first hand survival story:

We left the boat ramp Sunday morning at 4am in search of Dolphin and Sailfish, and we rode out to Georgetown Hole (about 60nm East of Charleston, SC) without any problems at 20-25 kts. Both bilge pumps were working, both bilges stayed dry for the ride. About 20 minutes after we started fishing, the boat took on too much water and quickly sank out from under us.

While I don’t know exactly what caused the boat to sink, my guess is this:

Once we slowed down to trolling speed, the waves were spaced out to where we would take a wave over the bow every once in a while, but nothing that seemed too terrible. I’m guessing that the waves coming over the bow filled all of the bow lockers, and those small drains were blocked by leaves and/or all the gear inside the lockers.

I think that once the water in the lockers weighed the bow down, any water in the bilge drained to the bow, away from the pumps. It seemed like it happened so fast at this point — once the bow got heavy, it plowed more, causing more water to collect in the bilge, making it heavier, in turn causing it to take more water over the bow. Before we knew it, there was standing water on the deck. We cut all of the lines that were out and I got one, maybe two Mayday calls out from the boat’s VHF. Everyone got their life jackets on and I grabbed the ACR ditch bag (emergency bag) that I keep readily available, at arms length right on top of the console.

Once we were in the water, the boat was completely gone almost immediately. We all stayed together. I got the handheld VHF and the PLB out of the ditch bag and resumed communication with the CG. I was a little worried at first since they wouldn’t verify that they were seeing my beacon — they were asking me to deploy a device that had already been deployed. That was probably the worst feeling of the day. After about 10 minutes, they said they saw the signal, and broadcast our coordinates on the radio. Communication was tough from a handheld — since VHF is Line of Sight, you lose comms when you are right on the water and in the trough of a wave.

Luckily 2 boats were in the area and headed our way. The Office out of Georgetown got to us first, and picked us up. The CG chopper arrived a little while later, and the CG vessel made it out to pick us up and take us home.

Aside from the obvious, everything went really well. It was less than 1 hour from the first Mayday call until we were on board The Office. The crew stayed composed and nobody panicked. The fact that this happened in June instead of January was a blessing. I can’t thank the boats that responded enough for their support. Larry, Tom, and Charlie (the crew of The Office) were incredibly accommodating, and offered us water, gatorade and food if we needed. They were running a charter, and pulled lines in to run over and help us.

– See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/survivors/stories/2015/cook-north-charleston-south-carolina#sthash.VmEyUiRA.dpuf

Jeanne sponsored owner of

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http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/9914519-woman-hits-the-high-seas-for-solo-trip-around-the-world/

Jeanne is not just any ACR Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) owner. She is one who has taken her EPIRB around the world! Jeanne has suffered her own mishap in losing a boat in Mexico and for that reason she knows that an EPIRB is not optional but an essential piece of survival gear.


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Whats the difference between a Personal Locator Beacons and Avalanche Beacons?

AVY_BLOG_SLOBBER

Learn more about Personal Locator Beacons

We often get asked the question; what’s the difference between an Avalanche Beacon and an ACR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon?

The answer essentially comes down to the fact that each beacon has 2 different jobs.  The easiest way to think about this is while both beacons are designed to aid in Search and Rescue, an avalanche beacon does the Searching, while a Personal Locator Beacon brings the Rescue.

Avalanche beacons are specifically designed to locate other 457 kHz signals buried under the snow.  An avalanche beacons is constantly transmitting a low powered pulsed signal during your skiing/snowboarding/snowmobiling trip and should you get caught in an avalanche, anyone in your party that is safe will switch their beacon from the transmitting mode to the receiving mode which allows use as a radio direction finder.   The searchers in your party use their beacons to find your location and dig you out of the snow.

Surviving the avalanche and getting out alive is the first major hurdle to overcome, but quickly your attention must turn to assessing injuries.  According to the US National Library of Medicine, the most frequent injuries are to your extremities, chest and/or spine.  Getting medical attention is imperative, but can also be extremely difficult in the backcountry depending upon your location and the extent of the injuries.  That is why a 406 MHz beacon is the perfect complimentary beacon to an avalanche beacon, it calls in the cavalry.

Avalanche sign and mountains at the backgroundAn ACR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon, like the ResQLink,  utilizes the Cospas-Sarsat Search and Rescue Satellite System and provides the closest Search and Rescue Agency to your vicinity with your registration data, emergency contacts and location information.  Search and Rescue (SAR) forces use the GPS position (or coordinates based on triangulation if GPS data is not available) from the beacon along with the information you provide when you properly register your beacon to immediately set out on the rescue mission.  There is no subscription or activation fees with a Personal Locator Beacon, the only thing required is mandatory registration, which is what tells SAR forces who activated the beacon.

On average, 150 people lose there lives to avalanches each year.  While predicting and avoiding avalanches are becoming more and more reliable, anyone in these areas is always still at risk and should be well-trained in avalanche safety.  For more information and safety tips on Avalanche please check out National Ski Patrol, or find an avalanche safety course in your area.

Sources:
National Geographics
US National Library of Medicine

Get to know the RCL-100 Searchlight from ACR Electronics

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Walk through any marina and you will be surrounded by the RCL-100 Searchlight staring down at you. This robust searchlight is made of marine grade aluminum and is triple primed and sealed construction for years and years of worry free operation on your boat. Designed for medium-size sport yachts, sport fish and commercial vessels, the twin 55 watt halogen bulbs will light the way with over 200,000 candela to make operating your vessel at night much safer.

Want to meet the RCL-100 eye to eye???    Click HERE to find the closest dealer near you!


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Smart Hunters Harness Up and Are Signal Ready

What do you do after your tree stand harness has saved you?
Smart Hunters Harness Up and Are Signal Ready
By: Craig Dougherty

What do you do after your tree stand harness has saved you?
Smart hunters know that it takes more than a safety harness to save their lives in a fall. A 4-point harness may keep you from hitting the ground in a hurry but it can suspend you in mid-air and that’s where the trouble begins. Unless you can get back in your stand or somehow lower yourself to safety, suspension trauma can set in and you can pass out and die in less than an hour. A reliable signaling device is a must for safety conscious hunters.

Suspension trauma is caused by blood pooling in the lower extremities and failing to reach the torso and brain. Persons suspended in a safety harness are extremely vulnerable to this condition and in need of rapid rescue. Some harness systems incorporate a suspension trauma relief strap which allows hanging hunters to rig a strap which they can stand on to relieve pressure and avoid the trauma associated with being suspend for extended periods of time. This helps avoid suspension trauma but hanging in a tree is no way to spend the night.

No matter how you look at it, time is of the essence to anyone hanging from a safety harness. That’s why hunters need to carry an emergency signaling device on their person at all times. A whistle can help you alert nearby hunters to a problem but there range is seriously limited. An air-horn is better but a pain to tote.

Most hunters rely on cell phones for emergency signaling but we all know they have their limitations. For starters, you need a signal; when it comes to hunters and cell phones, rule of thumb is – “the better the signal the poorer the hunting.” You never seem to have a good signal in great hunting areas. The other rule is—“your cell phone goes dead just when you need it most.” And of course, you need to be able to get to the phone, get it out of your pocket without dropping it, and have the clarity of mind to dial it in an emergency situation. You also need to know exactly where you are to direct rescue personnel to your location. When it comes to life and death situations you need more certainty than a cell phone provides.

ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon
The ultimate emergency signaling device is a personal locator beacon (PLB). PLB’s are industrial strength signaling devices that signal for help at the push of a button (and one button is about all a suspended hunter can manage). No dialing, no talking, just hit a button and wait for the rescue team to show up. The PLB beams out a signal which will be picked up by emergency personnel who are trained to vector in on the signal and administer emergency medical treatment (suspension trauma victims require special handling). PLB’s incorporate time tested and proven signaling technologies which have saved thousands of lives over the years.

In order to be effective, PLB’s must be carried on your person. They are no use stashed in a backpack hanging on tree limb or strapped to your stand. Fastening it to your harness, belt, or some other easy to access (when hanging) place. It will do you no good at all if it is stashed in a jacket pocket you have no way of reaching when suspended.

PLB’s should only be used in life threatening situations. Authorities definitely frown on sending out search and rescue squads only to find out that the signaler had run out of energy bars or arrows. Stiff fines accompany false alarms. But, if your hung in a harness with no way out, the PLB is your ticket to ride, ride home that is in the comfort of your pickup.

By: ACR Guest Blogger from the Hunting Division; Craig Dougherty
http://www.northcountrywhitetails.com


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ACR AquaLink PLB Still Functioning After 16 Days Underwater

James Kastner recovered this ACR AquaLink PLB from his boat “Chompers” after the vessel sank during Hurricane Sandy. Despite being submerged inside the boat for 16 days, the AquaLink worked flawlessly after James turned it on and ran the self test. James said he was “amazed, but not surprised” and he thanked ACR “for making the best gear on earth!!” Thanks, James – this story is a testament to the great employees who make the ACR/Artex products!