Monday, December 31, 2007

Boyz will be Boyz

This was in Montana, I know a lot doesn't happen in Montana, generally speaking, so this must've been some pretty exciting stuff.

I hope no one else really needed any ambulances or help during the five (5!) hour period this took to sort out.

Note to Al-Queda, don't try to invade us through Montana please cause you might succeed.

Note to Homeland Security, fix this.

Search and rescue responds to rescue beacon - at hotel

A bit of hotel room fun brought a group of six college-aged students more attention than they bargained for Friday evening, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office reported Saturday.

Around 6 p.m., the group activated a personal locator beacon at their hotel on North Seventh Avenue, possibly attempting to locate each other with the device, Undersheriff Jim Oberhofer said.

“They thought it interacted with their avalanche beacons. It did not,” he said. “They didn't realize it communicated with a satellite.”The beacon sends a signal to a government-controlled satellite that then pages local law enforcement and search and rescue teams.

But Oberhofer said the first set of coordinates received from the beacon were incorrect. As a result, a search and rescue team was dispatched to Castle Mountain to search for the beacon. A later message from the satellite, combined with tracking work done by local ham radio operators, located the beacon at the hotel, Oberhofer said.

The entire ordeal took about five hours, Oberhofer said. During that time, 22 volunteers, six deputies and an ambulance crew either responded to the beacon or were held on standby.

He said the Sheriff's Office did not issue any citations and chalked the incident up to a simple misunderstanding.Oberhofer said this was the first locator beacon activated in Gallatin County since the satellite-based system began operating in 2003.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the beacons led to the rescue of 59 people in 2007.