A Good Day of Fishing and Camping in the Everglades Leads to a Challenging Night
During a recent boating and fishing trip off the coast of Everglades National Park, an inReach subscriber encountered a challenging situation while camping at a remote location on the southwestern shore of the park. Fortunately, they had an inReach on hand to help.

In 1934, Congress established Everglades National Park. It is the largest designated wilderness in the eastern United States, and it includes 1.5 million acres of tropical and subtropical habitat with diverse wildlife. Every year, the park receives about a million visitors.

This past January, Tom McDonough and his friend set out from the park's Flamingo Marina for a fishing trip. The day of fishing went well, and they went back to shore to camp on Middle Cape. They anchored Tom's boat in about three feet of water off the beach and cooked steaks and potatoes over a campfire. Sleepy after a long day of fishing, they each settled into their tents for the night.

Tom began to worry as the winds picked up and tide came in. He checked to see if the boat's anchor was holding. Later, he woke to discover his boat on the shoreline getting swamped by waves. Tom called to his friend in a panic, and they both got into the cold dark water to try to save Tom's flat boat from submerging.

After about an hour of fighting the tide and the onset of hypothermia, they accepted their defeat. They pulled on the boat's anchor line, and eventually the waves and their effort carried the boat to shore. They saved the motor, which never submerged, and secured the anchor to the beach. Satisfied that the boat wouldn't get swamped again or carried away by the waves, they lit a fire and changed into dry clothes.

They had absolutely no cell service at their remote location, so Tom decided to trigger an SOS on his inReach. The next minute, he received a text message from GEOS acknowledging their emergency. After several messages, they determined that GEOS should contact Tom's boat insurance provider to arrange for a tow in the morning-allowing the two time to breakdown camp and ready the boat for the tow. Since Tom could communicate via his inReach, he could relay his boat's insurance information and GEOS could relay his location coordinates to the tow boat captain.

In the end, Tom was relieved to have his inReach. "This may not have been a dramatic life or death rescue, but it did save us hours-if not days-waiting on a chance rescue from another boater. Like any insurance, you never want to use it but glad you have it when you do."

Tom shared that he takes his inReach with him on all of his outdoor adventures. "I put in on the balcony of our cruise ship cabin during a Mediterranean cruise. Our family was able to see our location and track us 24/7."


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