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Amateur Radio Saves Family in Death Valley National Park

Our lives today are filled with new and exciting communications technologies that help us to stay in touch no matter where we are. But, sometimes, it’s legacy technologies that come to our aid in times of distress.

A recent posting to the website of the ARRL tells the story of a family trapped in the remote desert that is the Death Valley National Park. It seems that their vehicle became stuck in the mud and they were unable to free the vehicle. Unfortunately, it was an area of the park that had no access to cellular service.

Fortunately, one member of the trapped family is an amateur radio operator who was able to transmit calls for help on the 10-meter band. The signal was picked up by a fellow amateur operator based in Ohio, who was able to identify the call sign and the general location of the family before he lost the signal. He then posted the information on the “Parks in the Air” Facebook page, asking other operators to scan for the distress signals.

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The distress signals were quickly picked up by other amateur radio operators, who were able to contact emergency officials in the area of the Park, leading to the rescue of the family within just a few hours.

Read the ARRL article on how amateur radio saved a stranded family.

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