Stranded in a river in Iceland - Rescued thanks to SPOT

SPOT Gen 3 satellite GPS trackers provide a critical, life-saving line of communication when you travel into remote areas where regular forms of communication are unavailable. At the end of October 2015, a survival school found out just how indispensable they can be as they travelled across South East Iceland.

SPOT 3Overleven Survival School organised a trip for 19 Dutch adventurers to traverse a remote area in Iceland in five modified Land Rover Defender 4x4s. As they crossed a fast-flowing river of glacier water one of the Land Rovers engines failed in the deep water and got wedged on an underwater sandbank.

All four of the passengers managed to escape through a window and got onto the roof of the Land Rover but the freezing water was rising quickly around them and they had no mobile phone coverage - thankfully they had a SPOT Gen 3!

They sent an SOS message using one of the team's two SPOT messengers to the International Emergency Response Agency, GEOS and built an improvised shelter out of their equipment on the roof of the 4x4 to shelter from the cold wind and rain.
Overleven-3A search and rescue team kept in contact with the Overleven team using its Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone. Two hours later they were able to reach the remote location in huge, modified all-terrain vehicles. The river was flowing even faster and the water was deeper than earlier but they were able to drive straight up to the stranded 4x4 and bring the four trapped adventurers safely to shore within minutes. A rescue helicopter also arrived and checked that everything was okay while recovery vehicles towed the stranded Land Rover out of the water.

Dennis van Dokkum of Overleven Survival School, commented, "The SPOT messenger was very useful. A couple of locals had thought SPOT wouldn't work in Iceland, but they were wrong, it worked perfectly. And as a wilderness guide and survival instructor I now can confirm that SPOT really does work. Please keep up the good work you do providing your services to those of us who enjoy the outdoors and adventure."

SPOT devices are one way messengers which allow you to send your GPS location and pre-programmed message to your personal contacts or an Emergency Response Centre. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where mobile phones don't. If you are interested, please take a look at our website

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