Rescues - 2010

Two McMurdo EPIRBs and two McMurdo Fast Find PLBs were activated last night by the crew of Tony Bullimore’s 102ft racing catamaran Spirit of Antigua when she capsized some 120 miles SSW of Brest last night. Bullimore was not on board.

The McMurdo beacons alerted search and rescue services to the crew’s plight around 2130 hours in the evening. The giant grand prix catamaran, well known as a winner and record holder on the racing circuit and capable of speeds of up to 38 knots, was cruising offshore off Finnistere around 160 miles to the south west of the Pointe de Penmarch’h, when the CROSS Griz Nez (the maritime organisation responsible for control and safety of shipping in the area) received the alert. The rescue mission was quickly got underway as a helicopter from the naval air base at Lanveoc was sent to the area around midnight. The helicopter team located the yacht whose seven crew members had managed to take refuge in the upturned hulls of the catamaran. They were winched up into the helicopter and taken back to dry land safe and sound.

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Hand held Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) use satellite technology to locate individuals lost, injured, or stranded in the wilderness  
At approximately 8:29 AM on Friday October 1, 2010 a rented McMurdo Fast Find 210 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was activated in the Grand Canyon. The PLB was rented to a Denver, CO man who was backpacking in the Grand Canyon.

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A Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) manufactured by McMurdo Ltd saved two lives at sea yesterday when its signal alerted rescue agencies to the plight of two French sailors in the mid-Atlantic ocean.

The emergency beacon alert from McMurdo’s Fast Find PLB alerted Falmouth Coastguard, via the 406 MHz international search and rescue satellite system, that the crew, brothers aged 36 and 40, were in distress in the North Atlantic.

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The EPIRB used by 16 year old Abby Sunderland to alert rescuers to her plight in the Indian Ocean during an attempted solo circumnavigation was manufactured by McMurdo Ltd.

The McMurdo Precision 406 GPS EPIRB, which was replaced by the McMurdo SMARTFIND Plus in 2006, was activated by Abby, who was aiming to be the youngest person to sail solo non-stop around the world, after her Open 40 yacht Wild Eyes was dismasted in a 60 knot tropical storm in the southern Indian Ocean.

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The signal from a McMurdo SMARTFIND EPIRB resulted in an international operation to locate a Joint Services Adventurers Sail Training Centre  (JSASTC) yacht.

The transmission from the SMARTFIND, which was received close to Cape Horn, alerted Search and Rescue services at Falmouth Coastguard UK, which co-ordinated the search.  The HMSTV Challenger had suffered a massive knock down and the SMARTFIND was washed overboard, automatically becoming activated.

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A couple and their two teenaged daughters were rescued by a Royal Navy warship when they activated their McMurdo SMARTFIND EPIRB in the South Atlantic, after hitting a ‘growler’, a submerged iceberg.

The Hollinsclough, an Oyster 60, is now feared lost but the family, Carl Lomas, his wife Tracey Worth and their two daughters are safe after Falmouth Coastguard responded to the 406 MHz emergency signal from their SMARTFIND.  Falmouth Coastguard informed McMurdo Ltd that they  picked up the position as being 285 miles north-east of South Georgia and contacted the Falkland Island authorities to co-ordinate a rescue. John Rossiter, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager reported “It seems that the yacht hit a low lying iceberg in bad weather and broached. There were 50 knot winds from the west.”

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An injured hunter was rescued in a remote forest in North Island, New Zealand, when search and rescue (SAR) authorities responded to a signal from a Fast Find 211 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) manufactured by the company.

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A McMurdo FAST FIND 211 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was used by Australian adventurer Tom Smitheringale to successfully alert search and rescue services when he fell through ice into freezing waters in the remote Arctic. The Canadian Air Force brought Tom to safety within hours of receiving his distress signal.

Tom, from Australia, had set out from McClintock Inlet at the northernmost edge of Canada on 26th February with the aim of reaching the geographic North Pole solo and unsupported. A few days later on 15th April, after 48 days of trekking, Tom suffered the accident that plunged him into water at sub-zero temperatures.

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