I was reading the current issue of Sea Kayaker
magazine (Aug. 2008), and after finishing the review of the Spot Satellite Messenger I was struck with the possibilities of this new device.
If you haven’t read the article, here’s the SPOT in a nutshell:
SPOT is a handheld satellite messenger that sends the user’s GPS location and text messages up to ten recipients via e-mail addresses and cell phones. These messages are status updates sent by the user, identifying if you are okay or need help, and your location. On the device are a couple call buttons, one identifying that the user is OK and the other for an emergency: 911. This is perfect for notifying those that may be concerned about your well being whether you’re out for the day or on an expedition to a remote location.
I suspect that most of the paddlers who will buy a SPOT are going to have their act together. They’re going to be practicing self-rescues, they’ll be wearing the appropriate gear and be taking the risks and responsibilities of sea kayaking very seriously. Being educated and prepared does not remove you from risk but it does go a long way to improving your odds. Not needing the SPOT to make a distress call doesn’t make it any less useful. There is a tremendous value with this product in notifying those on your list of both your condition (being OK or needing help) and location.
I’d like to think that the Sea Kayaker
readers who carry SPOT Satellite Messenger will paddle safely and use the SPOT to help other boaters that are in distress. There is a function with SPOT that was not covered in our review: by sending an emergency signal, immediately followed with an “I’m OK,”
will get a rescue effort under way and let the folks at home know that you’re not the one who’s in trouble. EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Beacons) and PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) have important roles in saving lives
. It is essential to be able to get out a distress call, but the folks waiting for you to come home will find priceless peace of mind in the SPOT email that says simply: “I’m here and I’m OK.”
For a press release on the Spot Satellite Messenger: click here.