Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (NYSE American: GSAT) and a leading provider of satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, today announced that SPOT has reached a new milestone, surpassing one billion messages transmitted and more than 6,100 rescue incidents initiated in 89 countries and on six continents.
A trusted and proven satellite communications family of devices, SPOT’s fast-growing base of subscribers includes lone workers and outdoor enthusiasts who want peace of mind, reliable communications and SOS capability through the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), even when there is no mobile network coverage.
To date there have been a total of 311 rescues in EMEA, with 258 in Europe and 53 in Africa. France (32), Italy (17), Norway (32), Sweden (27), Switzerland (25), Spain (32) and the UK (44) are the busiest rescue locations in Europe. Adventurers who are hiking, mountain climbing and paragliding in Europe and Africa are most likely to request help from the GEOS International Emergency Response Co-Ordination Centre (IERCC) via SPOT’s SOS button.
One rescue last winter in Europe was Kjell-Harald Myrseth. He was on a 500km trek using skis, sleds and dogs inside the Arctic Circle in Norway when a deadly storm developed with winds of up to 240km/hr. The snow caves he kept building for protection all collapsed within hours, so he pressed the SOS button on his SPOT Gen3.
Helicopters and snowmobiles were unable to venture out in the extreme conditions so Kjell lay by his sled in a sleeping bag and focused on keeping hypothermia at bay. His body temperature had dropped and he had barely slept for 60 hours when the search and rescue team took advantage of a slight drop in the wind to reach his GPS location. “SPOT saved my life. It’s a no-brainer for anyone in the wilderness,” said Kjell.
In April 2018, another user, Markus Huber was paragliding with a friend in Switzerland when he hit a patch of turbulent air, which caused his paraglider to suddenly collapse on one side. Markus deployed his reserve parachute, bailed out and seconds later was hanging 20 metres up in a tree. Markus pressed the SOS button on his SPOT to initiate a rescue. “Thanks to SPOT, in an instant, IERCC and both of my children were notified of my incident and had my precise location so they could organise a rescue. SPOT is an essential piece of kit. It’s obvious to invest in a device that allows my loved ones to find me in an emergency. It makes paragliding much safer.”
“For more than a decade we a have dedicated ourselves to bringing affordable communication technology to our customers to provide peace of mind to their loved ones regardless of the mobile network,” said David Kagan, CEO at Globalstar. “This billionth message milestone shows the breadth of our network and the increased demand of people around the world expecting to be able to communicate from wherever they are. We are incredibly proud of the work we have done to keep people connected and take great responsibility in being a reliable source of communication when an emergency strikes.”
SPOT products work virtually everywhere, offering reliable satellite-based connectivity to hundreds of thousands of people including hikers, fishermen, paragliders, motorcyclists and many others who enjoy the outdoors and going off-grid. SPOT users have the ability to track assets, use location-based messaging and get help when beyond the reach of mobile coverage.
SPOT has been increasingly embraced by organisations wishing to safeguard personnel working in remote locations. Workers in hazardous environments also rely on SPOT. Customers include the UK’s Forestry Commission, and General Electric Wind Energy which uses SPOT Gen3 devices to track and protect staff across Africa, Europe and Asia.
The affordable, pocked-sized SPOT Gen3 is also used to improve the safety of competitors in extreme sporting events in remote and rugged locations including the Swiss Epic mountain bike race and the Gran Trail Aneto endurance race in the Pyrenees.