Newly released stats show that Garmin inReach devices have been used to help people get emergency assistance in over 10,00 0 incidents over the last 10 years.
The top five activities that produced an SOS call were hiking/backpacking, driving, motorcycling, climbing/mountaineering, and boating. Many of the calls were made from remote locations, but some were also made from major cities like Los Angeles. Calls were made from more than 150 countries all over the world.
Garmin inReach devices (like the inReach Messenger and inReach Mini 2) use satellite communications to let users send a distress signal or communicate with emergency responders, even in areas with no cell phone service.
Calls are sent to GEOX Worldwide, an emergency monitoring and incident response service that coordinates with emergency responders and rescue services all over the world to help people in distress.
Around half of all SOS calls involved accidents or emergencies, but others were a result of incidents like people needing help after their car broke down in a remote location. Devices have also been used to get assistance in natural disasters, and to help reunite a parent with a lost child.
Nearly a fifth of calls were made by a good Samaritan who realized another person was in trouble and pressed the SOS call button on their behalf.
If you're considering buying a Garmin inReach device, or other satellite communicator or beacon, take a look at our guide do you need an emergency beacon for hiking to help you pick the right one for you.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).