ResQLink PLB is activated in successful rescue after father sees his son plummet from cliff while spear fishing
Auckland, New Zealand, October 2016 – ACR Electronics,a Drew Marine Company, is highlighting the dangers of fishing and the benefits of carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) following a dramatic rescue in Auckland.
Fishermen are advised to carry a PLB at all times when operating offshore, but Dylan Holzheimer’s fall from a cliff while spear fishing proves that it is equally as important to wear a device when fishing on rocks, particularly in remote regions.
Avid fishermen Dylan and his father, Donald, from Auckland, were at Taiharuru Bay, north of Kennedy Bay, when they decided to cross over a cliff face to another fishing spot. However, Dylan’s rope broke, sending him plummeting about 14m to the ground backwards.
After scrambling down to make his son comfortable, Donald managed to reach his friend a short distance away who had an ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB. They returned to Dylan and activated the device, with the rescue services arriving by helicopter within an hour of the accident.
John Walker, Coromandel Fire Brigade chief, praised the group for having an emergency response beacon on hand to use. He said activating the beacon meant they could respond quickly as it refined their location to within about 5m.
He said: "I just thought it was a great piece of forward thinking. It doesn't matter if two calls go to the same place, it's just getting there and getting there quickly. It’s great because there's a need for them. We're an isolated spot and cell phones don't always work.”
There was nowhere for the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter to land so it had to hover low to the ground and drop off a paramedic, before flying to higher ground. Firefighters from Coromandel and Kennedy Bay, along with local police, then helped create a human chain to carry 95kg Dylan 100m over rocks to the waiting rescue helicopter.
"All in all it was only an hour before they got to us, which, being such a remote location, was just unbelievable," said Donald Holzheimer. "We were coming down over the face of that cliff and the rope broke and he just shot past me on a free fall all the way down. It was definitely [12-14 metres] at least. It wasn't even rolling or sliding it was just a straight free fall on to the big jagged rocks. He was falling backwards and I thought he was going to land on his head but somehow he managed to get his feet back underneath him and he landed on his feet. Dylan fell at about 10.50am and we saw the chopper coming over the horizon at noon and they were with us by 12.15pm.”
Dylan suffered a fractured leg and a chip in his spine as a result of the accident.
Mikele D’Arcangelo, Marketing Director for ACR Electronics, said: “We would like to wish Dylan a fast recovery and are very pleased that these fishermen were carrying one of our PLBs. We never like to hear about an emergency situation, but we are very proud that our products make a difference. For all fishermen, it is so important to be prepared with a safety plan and properly registered distress beacon.”
Dylan’s story is the latest addition to the ACR SurvivorClub. Over 160 survivors from across the world who activated ACR Electronics beacons in a life-threatening emergency have joined the club to share their stories and help raise awareness about the best practices to ensure safety, both on land and at sea.
Relating first-hand tales of survival when lost, injured or facing extreme weather conditions while boating, fishing, hiking and hunting, the outdoor enthusiasts came forward to demonstrate the effectiveness of carrying an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) to alert the rescue authorities. For product information, go to https://www.acrartex.com/products/marine/.
For further information, please contact:
ACR Media Relations:
Mikele D’Arcangelo or Nichole Kalil
Tel: +1 954-862-2115/2180
About ACR Electronics, Inc.
ACR designs and manufactures a complete line of safety and survival products under the ARTEX and ACR brand names including ELTs, EPIRBs, PLBs, AIS, SART, Strobe Lights, Life Jacket Lights, Search Lights and safety accessories. The quality management systems of this facility have been certified by TUV USA to AS9100C / ISO 9001:2008. Recognized as the world leader in safety and survival technologies, ACR and ARTEX have provided safety equipment to the aviation and marine industries as well as to the military since 1956. The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and employs over 180 at its manufacturing facility.