Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here's a situation it seems you'll never see

A man, who was trapped on a snowy peak was able to call a rescuer and read off the following information before the cell phone went dead:

"I am at 46.830134 and -121.669464. Those are my coordinates."

Instead, we just get this:

Searchers thwarted by a storm whose winds were expected to gust from 60 mph to 80 mph today stayed well below the summit area of Mount Hood, where at least one of three missing mountaineers was last heard from.
Signals from the phone put it about 11,000 feet, just below the summit. Search teams in a statement today said the signals also "suggest that the phone was moved from one point to another. The points are not far from each other."
Hughes said Tuesday that calls to James' cell had produced "pings" allowing searchers to approximate where he was but that nobody had answered the calls.

Hughes said tracing the pings put James at about the 11,000-foot level.

Yep, a high tech guessing game and a race to save someones life. I'm not even going to start on the whole Kim family tragedy. As long as people make the conscious decisions to continue on a journey which has all the warning signs it will end badly, they should at least have a $150 device in their pocket which will, at minimum, tell them where they are in relation to other known objects... like the highway, or hell, back to their own car if they decide they can't walk out.

To the literally tens of visitors I get per month, I would like to introduce you to a concept called GPS. It may not save your life, but it sure as hell might help someone else save your life, or at least find your body more quickly.

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