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Death Valley Rescue: SPOT Was There When No One Else Was

Rescue Profile: Tom
Case #: 13665


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Tom Madlem had been riding motorcycles for 50 years. Death Valley was one trip he had never taken before though. He and a friend had planned to take 2 weeks off and make the ride. However, the first part of the trip was going to force Madlem to commit the “cardinal sin” - biking alone.

This meant he would be riding alone through the desert for two days before meeting up with his friend. After his wife and son begged him not to go by himself, he was then convinced to purchase his SPOT GEN3™ for the trip so his family would have peace of mind. He made it the first day just fine alone. Tuesday morning, he had not ridden 10 miles when he took a hard fall on his bike.

“It was an easy fall and one that I’ve experienced many times, but I’m getting older and my bones are getting more fragile,” said Madlem.


He knew he had broken his leg and immediately activated the SOS on his SPOT GEN3. Search and Rescue was there within a couple of hours, air-lifting him to safety.

Madlem broke his tibia and fibula, but is on the mend. He stated that he was extremely grateful for having a SPOT GEN3 as it saved his life.

Featured Rescue

4,000th Rescue: Motorcyclist in DeKalb County, Alabama

Rescue Profile: Michael Herrera
Case #: 15697


4000th rescue

On October 23 in DeKalb County, Alabama, retired Houston firefighter Michael Herrera was alone and off-roading on his dual-sport bike when he took a hard fall. Although initially disoriented, Michael’s experience as a first responder told him that his injuries were more serious than he could see so he reached for his SPOT Gen3® and pressed the S.O.S. button.

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