Find out about the latest rescues

Over the years, McMurdo safety equipment has saved hundreds of lives all over the world both at sea and on land. Fishermen, yachtsmen, transatlantic rowers, Arctic explorers, hunters, hikers and more owe their lives to our products. You can read just some of these experiences here – browse through the list below, you can filter by year, or read stories about a particular region using the map.

Why not share your own McMurdo rescue story with everyone? If you have used one of our products to alert the rescue services in a life threatening situation then we’d love to hear about it. Simply click the link below to find out more. If we publish your story then we will replace your beacon free of charge!

A group of seven 16-18 year old backpackers were rescued by State Troopers in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 24th July, after activating their 406MHz Personal Location Beacon (PLB) following a vicious attack by brown bears. The PLB, a Fast Find 210 from leading emergency distress beacon manufacturer McMurdo, alerted the emergency services who were able to find the group by following the beacon’s signal.


On 4th April, a group of bushwalkers in Girraween National Park, New South Wales, Australia, was successfully rescued by helicopter just two hours after getting into distress and activating their McMurdo FastFind 211 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).

The party, comprising five students (16/17 years old) and one teacher from Hillbrook Anglican School, Everton Park, Queensland, had been bushwalking in the Bald Rock area, 12NM north of Tenterfield, which has limited vehicular access. The party took the decision to activate the PLB when the teacher fell and broke an ankle, and was unable to proceed any further.


A Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) has saved the lives of four yachtsmen, who were successfully rescued when they activated the beacon following a problem onboard their sailing yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The US Coast Guard received the 406MHz distress signal from the FastFind 210 PLB, which was registered to the French-flagged yacht, Recidive, en route from the Canary Islands to Martinique. The PLB’s distress alert also included exact GPS position data, enabling the Coast Guard to direct a Greek-flagged tanker, the Delta Kanaris, to the survivors’ precise location at 1,582 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Within 12 hours, all four crew members had been recovered by the crew of the merchant vessel, and were safely heading towards Philadelphia. A C-130 rescue crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., which had also been scrambled by the Coast Guard, was subsequently stood down.


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.