by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Jan 20, 2017
NOAA satellites aided the rescue of 307 people in 2016, the highest total in more than five years. In 2007, NOAA satellites helped save 353 lives.
NOAA satellites are part of the tracking system known as COSPAS-SARSAT, an international conglomerate of search and rescue satellites designed to pick up distress signals and pinpoint their location.
Signals can be emitted by boats using an emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station, or EPIRB, while civilian aircraft send signals via emergency locator transmitters, or ELTs. A handheld device called a personal location beacon, or PLB, can also emit a trackable emergency signal.
In July, the U.S. Coast Guard received a EPIRB signal originating from the Bering Sea. Forty-six crew members had abandoned ship after their commercial fishing boat, the Alaska Juris, began taking on water. The entire crew was rescue from their life rafts by the Coast Guard and nearby good samaritan vessels.
According to the NOAA, it was the largest single rescue in or around the United States aided by the COSPAS-SARSAT system and its NOAA satellites.
Though most rescues happened on the water, NOAA satellites also helped emergency responders on land and in the air. ELT and PLB signals helped official track and rescue pilots ejected from their planes midair, as well as lost hikers. A map on NOAA's website showcases all of the 2016 rescue efforts executed with the help of the agency's satellites.
"On any given day, at any given time, NOAA satellites can play a direct role in saving lives," Chris O'Connors, NOAA SARSAT program manager, said in a news release. "These rescues underscore SARSAT's true value."
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|