Ocean Signal-backed writer Adam Weymouth has returned from a dangerous mission to canoe across Alaska to investigate the decline in King Salmon numbers for a new book.
The London-based 32-year-old was supplied with Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 personal locator beacons by the communication and safety at sea specialist, to add to his essential safety kit as he negotiated the cold, treacherous Yukon river.
Paddling over a thousand miles from Eagle to Emmonak over the summer, Adam explored how the decrease in this important fish species is impacting the ecosystem, the fishing industry in the region and the natives.
Safety was a major priority for the trip as part of the route passed through extremely remote regions, with storms, waves and bears all a constant threat, so it was vital that Adam had immediate access to a reliable 406MHz beacon which would communicate his location to rescue authorities in an emergency.
Adam said: “Safety for the trip was paramount. At times we were over a hundred miles from the nearest village, many hundreds of miles from the nearest hospital. It was crucial to be prepared for any eventuality, and to know that in case of emergency we could look after ourselves until help arrived. The PLBs gave us that reassurance, and we carried them in our life jackets at all times.
“The Yukon is a very wide, very cold river, and the silt load is incredible. When the wind picks up the waves can reach six feet, and we would wait out storms in the tent or paddle close to the side. A canoe can be swamped very quickly by waves. Grizzly and black bears can present a problem, and we carried an air horn to scare them off, and pepper spray in case they got too close. We also carried an extremely comprehensive medical kit, from which we needed nothing but a couple of plasters.”
After training for the trip on the Wye, the Dart and the Medway, Adam was then accompanied on sections of the adventure by his partner, musician Ulli Mattsson, and Hector Mackenzie, a 70-year-old Scot living in Whitehorse, Canada.
The compact Ocean Signal PLBs were ideal for the canoeists as they are so unobtrusive to carry and are designed to cope with the harsh marine environment.
“We were delighted to supply Adam with our PLBs and we were pleased that they provided peace of mind in such a remote and dangerous region,” said James Hewitt, Sales and Marketing Manager for Ocean Signal. “It was great to hear that the team did not have cause to activate their beacons during the journey and we congratulate Adam on his safe return from a very worthwhile challenge. We also look forward to seeing the book!”
Adam first travelled to Alaska two years ago, when he came across the issues that are currently affecting King Salmon, which he wrote about for The Atlantic. As he canoed downriver on his return this summer, he spoke to Alaskan natives of many different tribes, to the fishing industry, to those living in cabins in the middle of nowhere who are dependent on salmon as a food resource, to biologists, to tourists and to state troopers enforcing the fishing ban.
“My aim was to explore the range of factors threatening the salmon, and to question whether such an animal, dependent on cold water, unsullied landscapes and vast migrations, has a place in the modern world,” added Adam.
The journey will be chronicled in Adam’s book, Kings of the Yukon, to be published in Spring 2018.
For more information on the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 and the Ocean Signal range of products, please visit www.oceansignal.com.
For further information, please contact:
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Notes for Editors
Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1
Weighing just 116g (4.1oz) and with dimensions of 77mm (3in) (height), 51mm (2in) (width) and 32.5mm (1.3in) (depth), the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 is the smallest PLB on the market. It has been designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and is waterproof up to a market-leading depth of 15m, with an exceptional operating life of 30 hours (typical) even at -20C. Once activated, the PLB1 provides three methods of communicating the location of a survivor to search and rescue services – the designated 406MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with position provided by a 66 channel GPS, a 121.5MHz homing beacon, plus high intensity (1 candela) strobe light.
The rescueME PLB1 is priced at £282 (price may vary).
Adam Weymouth is a freelance writer and journalist, living on a boat on the River Lea in London. His work has appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, the BBC, Granta and Lacuna. He carries out much of his research by travelling overland. In 2014 he walked across Scotland for an article about the reintroduction of the wolf, and in 2010 he walked from England to Istanbul as an exploration of pilgrimage. Kings of the Yukon will be his first book. For more information, go to www.adamweymouth.com.
About Ocean Signal
Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal™ is dedicated to providing the technology and quality of product that will set industry standards.
Ocean Signal’s rescueME range of products, which includes the rescueME PLB1, the rescueME MOB1, the rescueME EPIRB1, the rescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare and AIS Alarm Box, and SafeSea range of GMDSS products, including the E100 and E100G EPIRB, S100 SART and V100 handheld VHF radio, as well as the M100 and M100X professional MSLD, provide both recreational and commercial mariners with simple to use, compact and affordable life-saving solutions. All products are engineered by a highly experienced team of marine electronics professionals.
Ocean Signal products are trusted by high-profile sailors, rowers and powerboat racing teams. By providing vital safety and communication devices, the company has sponsored the 16-man crew of Triton with rescueME MOB1s in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,record-breaking sailor Andrea Mura in the single-handed OSTAR race, Mini Transat 2015 solo sailor Lizzy Foreman, Atlantic rowing duo Ocean Valour, Venture Cup offshore powerboat race team Cinzano and kite racer Gina Hewson.
Safety and communication products from Ocean Signal offer exceptional value, meeting or exceeding international technical and safety standards. Careful design and innovation provides commercial shipping, fishing and recreational users the confidence that their Ocean Signal equipment will work to, and beyond, their expectations when it is needed most.