White water rafting outfitters and Rafting America member Glacier Guides put their satellite phones to good use. Last Tuesday a Boy Scout from India fell in the back woods on Montana near Glacier National Park. The boy was lucky that a guide from Glacier Wilderness Guides found the boy and was able to use his satellite phone to rescue the Scout. The rescue most likely saved his life.
An article by the Hungry Horse News stated that "Glacier Wilderness Guides bought 10 satellite phones at the beginning of the season - in the event of an emergency. Using the phones was a test program this year, explained Guides co-owner Cris Coughlin. The company's staff would take the phones with them and then make calls from different places."
Looks like anyone in the rafting industry should pay special attention to Glacier Wilderness Guides. Satellite phones are used occasionally, but should be part of the safety equipment all rafting outfitters carry on the trips. Costly? perhaps. Worth it? Just ask the Boy Scout from India or the guide from Glacier Wilderness Guides.