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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?"



Two hours later, she saw the rescue team come from around the cliff and she breathed a sigh of relief. Allison recalls, "It was great to be saved!" Even after several rescuers freed her from the enormous boulder, her rescue was far from complete. Due to the remoteness of the area, she had to crawl several hundred feet, was then carried by one rescuer for half a mile, carried on pallet another portion of the way, and finally transported by ATV to a vehicle that brought her to the hospital where it was determined she had a broken ankle.

Once she fully recovers, Allison plans to get back out in the field to continue to do what she loves. "I won't hesitate to get back out there, and I will definitely carry SPOT on me. Had I not had my SPOT and had it not worked, I would have been trapped and in terrible pain for days at a minimum. The search party reported that the coordinates sent by my device were essentially perfect. So, needless to say, I am incredibly grateful to SPOT, Globalstar, and all the people who came to help me."

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