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!
USA: An 80 year old man activated his McMurdo Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) after getting into difficulty during a solo voyage to Belize from Houston, Texas.
The incident gave yet another opportunity to the US Coast Guard to remind mariners to have a registered EPIRB or PLB on board their vessel and to file a float plan with family members and friends. In the case of the elderly owner of the 34ft yacht Enchantress correct registration of the Fast Find with search and rescue authorities and informing his family of his planned route meant the yachtsman could be located quickly.
The efficiency of the international search and rescue services in responding to an EPIRB distress signal was demonstrated when Falmouth Coastguard, UK, alerted the Colombian Coastguard within minutes of a McMurdo SMARTFIND EPIRB being activated. The signal was transmitted by a couple whose yacht was sinking on passage to Cartagena, Colombia. Jeff Morris and his wife left the East Hollandes, San Blas Islands on passage to Cartagena, in late November last year in their 51ft sloop. Winds were light and conditions moderate. However, hours later, in strong winds and confused seas with waves of up to 12 ft, the Morrises realised that the yacht was taking in water from the bow. It was later revealed that a large tree trunk had split the hull port side forward.
A FAST FIND 211 Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was activated on 21st November when a bushwalker was injured in remote mountains west of Jervis Bay, NSW.
The bushwalker, who hasn’t been named, was amongst a party of three people. In this remote area, away from any mobile phone signal they were able to activate the FAST FIND, whose signal was transmitted via the international search and rescue satellite system to be relayed to the local Emergency Response Division of the AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority). The rescue was undertaken by the Southcare Helicopter, a voluntary helicopter rescue service in the region.
McMurdo SMARTFIND PLUS EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon) was used by Sébastien Josse and Jean-François Cuzon on board their yacht BT in the Transat Jacques Vabre race to alert rescue authorities when they suffered damage in atrocious conditions. The pair, whose yacht suffered damage to the coachroof and was taking in water, were later airlifted by helicopter to the Azores, 115 miles away.
Seb and Jean-François activated their McMurdo SMARTFIND on 13th November at 1020 GMT, after a long night of battling it out in fierce seas and winds reaching 60 knots at times. The sheer power of the waves caused significant damage to the coach roof and BT, an Open 60, was nearly two-thirds full of water by the time she was abandoned.