Ever wondered what happened when you press the SOS button on a Garmin inReach device?

inReach -

Ever wondered what happened when you press the SOS button on a Garmin inReach device?

Ever wondered what happened when you press the SOS button on a Garmin inReach device?

One of our customers, Martin, tells us what happened to him, when he did just that.

In Martin's words - 

I was alone in a remote location in Scotland NH 286 954, at Knockdamph Bothy, between Inverlael and Oykel Bridge, attempting the Cape Wrath Trail when I dislocated my right hip at about 0830 in the morning.

By the time I had crawled the 50 yards to the bothy, got comfortable and sorted myself out I pressed the SOS button on my Garmin 66i at approximately 09.10. 

I managed to prop myself up in a stacking chair with my ‘Garmin arm’ outside the door so that it could effect satellite communication. Things took a while as I got my snack food for the day, sleeping bag & mat, Leki poles for movement, dayglo green rucksack cover for attracting attention and pairing mobile phone, all to hand. 

The Inverness Coastguard helicopter complete with paramedic arrived at about midday and I was transported from Inverness airport to Raigmore Hospital by about 12.45.

I confess the rescue wait was less than expected for which I was very grateful. The Coastguard and Ambulance teams were excellent. 

I would also like to mention GPS Training, in the UK, who market and sell your equipment and on their advice I acquired the 66i because of my age, arthritic condition and the remoteness of the planned walk. 

More importantly Jonn and Andy at GPS also undertake online navigation training (you -tube), navigation & Basecamp traditional attendance courses, telephone advice and they gave me extra guidance on InReach.  They really do provide an absolutely outstanding training and aftersales service and I am entirely grateful to them for my newly found ability with the device. 

The Garmin Operations Desk had also contacted my wife (nominated emergency contact) and kept her briefed with regard to the helicopter and my arrival in hospital.

Altogether everything was timely and worked perfectly.  A minor consideration might be that I myself was not informed of the communication flow as the only message I received was words to the effect, Emergency Response underway, ETA of help unknown. I also found it difficult to cancel the emergency once I was in the ambulance, but this might be because there was not a clear aerial path to the sky, even though the paramedic held the device outside. Garmin clearly cancelled for me.

Although I was very disappointed not to complete the trail, I had done about 170 of the 230 miles, I was extremely grateful that Garmin and emergency services had executed my rescue so efficiently and that GPS Training UK had given me a comprehensive grounding in the 66i device performance and operation. I will attempt to complete the trail before October this year.          

So a very big and well deserved THANK YOU to you all!

Garmin take us through their workflow when the SOS button is pressed

Emergencies, but they do occur.

In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, and Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) special projects leader Emily Thompson, they discuss what happens when you trigger an SOS on an inReach device.

They also cover the SOS functionality on inReach devices, how the Garmin IERCC coordinates a rescue response and steps you can take to help aid in a rescue.

An interesting watch.


Further Reading

1. Garmin GPSMAP 67i (The GPSMap67i has now replaced the GPSMap66i unit)

2. What happens when you press a SOS button on a Garmin inReach device

3. Going off grid, what are your options

1 comment

  • Di Farrell

    I have the same device and yes I had wondered what would happen if I needed to use it Tho I also have 2 dobermanns with me so wonder what would happen with them…….? Brilliant story and a good response time

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