Adventure filmmakers: before you embark on your next expedition with Go-Pro Hero Cam, Looxcie POV Cam and even some normal cameras for non-expendable situations…stay in touch via satellite in case you need to be rescued or merely want to inform your agent that you’re still available for future jobs. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger uses GPS tracking almost anywhere in the world, even where cell phones won’t work – as long as you have a clear view of the sky. We’re told SPOT doesn’t work in caves, and could be dicey if you’re lost in the Amazon and can’t climb trees.
Once you’ve pushed the SOS button, SPOT will acquire your exact GPS position, and send that location along with a distress message to the GEOS International Emergency Response Center every five minutes until cancelled or until the batteries are depleted. The Emergency Response Center notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information – which may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, embassy, consulate, or other emergency search and rescue teams – as well as notifying your emergency contacts (producer, banker, lawyer, family) about the receipt of a distress signal. I haven’t properly checked on recommendations about GEOS, other than their website, which lists the impressive credentials of Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate as Advisor to the Board along with the lofty: “GEOS is an entire eco-system of best-of-breed services.”
Remember, pushing the SOS button may not be helpful if you’ve been too stingy to shell out $12.95 per year for GEOS Member Benefits, which include Search and Rescue Insurance for up to $50,000 per occurrence in reimbursement for qualified SAR extraction-related expenses for which you are held responsible (up to two events per year). The GEOS Member benefit also provide additional SAR coordination– including arranging private aircraft/helicopter charter, private search teams—if required to get you to safety. Be sure to read the fine print, full terms and conditions at www.findmespot.com. Do not assume that the official emergency services will have the personnel and equipment required available at that critical time when you need help fast. In some countries, there may not be official help available at all.