OLATHE, KS – Garmin International, Inc. today announced that its inReach devices have been used to trigger 4,000 SOS incidents around the world since the technology’s launch in 2011. The inReach device delivers two-way messaging and live tracking, navigation, weather updates and more completely independent of cellular coverage via the 100% global Iridium® satellite networki.
“With hundreds of thousands of inReach devices in service, every day there is at least one inReach-related SOS incident and response somewhere around the globe,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “In the summer of 2019 alone, inReach devices have helped more than 500 users suffering from a variety of illnesses, injuries and emergencies communicate their need for assistance. Adventurers have been rescued from a wide variety of dangerous situations including raging wildfires, airplane crashes — even a grizzly bear encounter.”
Garmin’s 4000th SOS incident took place in Washington state when Duane Konyn, 45, became ill while competing in an ultrarunning race. Mr. Konyn triggered an SOS with his inReach Mini satellite communicator after dropping to his knees in pain during the fourth day of the Bigfoot 200. A race companion communicated his medical situation via two-way messaging with the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), which contacted emergency services. Because of the remote mountain terrain, the U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment was dispatched, and the rescue crew arrived via Black Hawk helicopter to airlift Mr. Konyn to safety where doctors determined he suffered from a bladder blockage. Mr. Konyn — a husband and father of three — believed that without an inReach he might not have survived the night. Plus, thanks to inReach, he was able to communicate with his wife throughout his 12-hour ordeal.
“I was in such a remote location. I knew I needed help, and I was scared because I didn’t know how they were going to get to me, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the night,” Konyn said. “I recommend the inReach now to everybody because you need to have something to communicate with when you are out in the middle of nowhere.”
With an inReach satellite communicator, users facing an emergency situation can trigger an SOS, which notifies the IERCC. Staff at the IERCC are standing by 24/7 to respond to inReach SOS messages by communicating via two-way text with the user in the field to learn about the nature of their emergency, track the device location and coordinate with the proper emergency responders for that unique situation. In addition, the IERCC confirms that help is on the way and continually updates the user on the status of the rescue or necessary assistance. Staff at the IERCC also reaches out to the user’s emergency contacts to keep them updated on the situation and gather additional information.
To learn more, visit www.garmin.com/inreach.
inReach is part of Garmin’s expanding outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether hiking, hunting, trail running, mountain biking, golfing, diving or training dogs, Garmin outdoor devices are essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, visit www.garmin.com/outdoors.
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Director Corporate Communications