SPOT Saves

Our Featured Rescue Stories.

Deaf hiker Amelia Milling relies on trail dog and SPOT for rescue after falling 700 feet in Alaska
Credit: Kelly McCarthy, Good Morning America, ABC

CASE #: 14356
TYPE: Boating-Ocean

ASSET: Motorcycle

CASE #: 15697
TYPE: Off-Road Motorcycle


Rescue Profile: Dan Sumpter
Case #20914

Dan Sumpter went hunting in the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest near Frazier Park, California. He was hunting with his friend Jay, who while experienced with firearms, had never shot a buck before. At first light, the duo started hiking up a deer trail they previously scouted that looked promising. Less than thirty minutes into the hike, they spotted a legal buck at the top of one of the mountains that was looking straight at them. After debating if the shot was going to be safe because of how close the buck was to the mountain, they decided it was. Dan handed over the shooting sticks so his friend could get his first opportunity at a buck. Watching the buck, Dan coached his friend to concentrate on his breathing. The first shot missed, but the buck didn’t move. Jay whispered, "I pulled it" and Dan said, "He hasn’t moved, concentrate on your breathing and just squeeze the trigger". Dan could see and hear the hit from over a hundred yards away and knew the buck was either dead or hadn’t moved too far. The duo was elated and Jay said, "Buck Fever on that first shot I pulled, I can’t believe he didn’t!"

Jay started up the mountain to find the buck and Dan stayed back so he could help direct Jay over the radio to the spot where the buck was when shot. Once Jay got to the spot, Jay radioed "We have a dead deer" and Dan responded with "Congrats, I will be right there!" Dan started up the mountain and took a more direct route that put the peak of the mountain between him and Jay.

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Shannon Cunningham

Rescue Profile: Shannon Cunningham
Case #20130

Shannon Cunningham has been an avid backpacker for 9 years. For two of those years, she has carried SPOT Gen3 to use in case of emergency and this past summer was the first time she had to use the S.O.S. on her SPOT.

Shannon was on a 5 day solo hike on the northern most tip of Vancouver Island in Canada on the North Coast Trail. On the first day of her hike, she slipped at camp and fell dislocating and breaking her shoulder in four different places.

The Canadian Coast Guard, out of Port Hardy, received her location and rescued her by boat. After arriving to the ER, the doctors verified Shannon’s shoulder injuries.

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Tom Robert

Rescue Profile: Tom Roberts
Case #20141

Tom Roberts is an avid hunter in the backcountry of Canada and has been hunting big game for many years. In August 2017, Tom and his hunting partner set off to their favourite spot in the mountains to do some sheep hunting.

After his partner shot a ram, Tom took on the job of skinning his hunting partner’s prize. His knife was caught up in the hide so he torqued with his knife. As he did this, the knife came though the hide and he stabbed himself near his knee right to the bone. His hunting partner used quick thinking and cut a piece of canvas meat bag and wrapped it tightly around Tom’s leg to create a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

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Avid SPOT user activates device three times over 10 years

John Walker

Rescue Profile: John "Swagman" Walker
Various Locations

John Walker aka Swagman is no stranger to overcoming challenging situations. As a U.S. Navy Veteran and avid hiker, Swagman loves being outside and takes on nature one hiking trail at a time with plans to conquer the Appalachian Trail in 2018.

With safety in mind, Swagman purchased his first SPOT device in 2008 after his sister persuaded him to do so—she didn’t want him to be mauled by a bear or rabid racoon. Little did he know that his SPOT device would be put to use not only once, but a total of three times over the past ten years.

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Paleontologist Trapped by Boulder Saved by SPOT

Rescue Profile: Allison Stegner
Case #19721

Allison Stegner is a paleontologist, and currently is an intern for the Bureau of Land Management surveying the Bears Ears National Monument for fossils. As a paleontologist and ecologist, Allison works in remote parts of Utah and has relied on SPOT since 2013. "I frequently use the check-in/OK button while working in the field and have found that the coordinates are consistently more accurate than the Garmin Oregon I use for my research. The Garmin has a lot of trouble with cliffs and since I work in Utah, I am frequently near cliffs."

Recently, Allison was surveying an area littered with dangerous slopes and sandstone blocks. As she stepped off a large, 300 pound block, it began to slide and in a matter of seconds, trapped and crushed her foot against another large rock. Finding herself literally caught between a rock and a hard place, she tried to break free and move the boulder, but realized she was trapped. After much thought, she activated the S.O.S. on her SPOT device. "I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t sit or rest because of the way I was trapped. I kept thinking, I am out of sight and in a remote area. How is anyone going to find me?"

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