Location beacon can save lives, experts say
Five Alberta climbers have been rescued in the past week, but one group was found in hours while the second was stranded three nights in the bush. The difference? A personal location beacon.
The electronic device, about the size of a cellphone, lets rescuers know where to go even in areas without cellphone service, Parks Canada's Marc Ledwidge told CBC News.
"It puts out a GPS co-ordinate so you know there's an emergency call from somebody and know exactly where it is," he said.
Douglas Robertson, a private pilot, considers the $170 device good value for money.
"What price do you put on your life?" he said. "So yeah, I'm a fan."
Robertson said the devices provide peace of mind.
"Yeah, for sure, you definitely feel safer knowing someone is watching you or that you have the potential to let somebody know you need help when you don't have cell coverage."
Geoff Matthews says sales of PLBs have been steady at the Mountain equipment Co-Op store in Calgary: "I'd say on average three to five per day."