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Three Friends' Story of Survival

Rescue Profile: Aage, Kory and Randall

Case #: 9294

 

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Aage, Kory and Randall had gone on many adventures together. Four-wheeler riding, RVing, international travel and exploring the North American outback were all on their activity list.

Their love of adventure is what brought them together for a snowmobiling ride in the mountains of Northern Utah on January 10, 2013. The men had no reason to believe this trip would be any different than the many others they had been on before. The area they planned to visit was one where Aage had previously been, and they looked forward to being home in plenty enough time to tell their loved ones good night. Although the group had no reason to suspect any danger, Randall decided to re-activate his SPOT device before leaving. After sending a test message, the trio headed out, not knowing that Randall’s small action would soon have a significant effect on their lives.

The friends started off with only the occasional upset of getting stuck in the snow. Before they knew it, a massive snow storm descended upon them, covering their tracks, hindering their vision and preventing them from making it to a camp site. Although the snowmobilers had a general idea of the direction they needed to go, 10 feet of snow had fallen and their GPS devices had failed them.

Realizing that the intense snow and wind were just too strong, the men decided to seek shelter and start a fire. After several hours stuck in the blizzard, they decided to press the SOS button on Randall’s SPOT to alert the GEOS International Response Coordination Center.

After a few hours, the guys were greeted by several members of the Wasatch County Search and Rescue Team. Amazed and relieved, the men asked, “How did you find us?”

“With SPOT,” a SAR member replied.

The trip back to safety took several more hours through rough terrain and harsh winds, but everyone made it through. Once safe, the friends discovered that they had been 37 miles off track. “We could have easily been out there for at least three days if not for SPOT. The weather was so crazy, it was literally a white-out. No one would have known we needed help or sent a rescue crew out in those conditions without knowing for certain we really needed help,” recalls Kory, the self-proclaimed handsome one of the bunch.

Since being home, Kory and Aage have profusely thanked Randall for activating his SPOT and have decided to re-activate their units as well.