Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

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nwdiver
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by nwdiver » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:35 am

zer0nz wrote:This sounds like a costly technology fail, i think i would be asking for reimbursement from the manufacturer!

Bet he has been pressing the "im ok" button every day... just for it not to be working, so he has no idea the panic that is being caused!


The SPOT confirms if the message goes through.

Glad they found him.
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thisisreallycomplicated
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:07 am

I just started reading this, and one of my first thoughts was his GPS isn't working, or he lost it. Like email, it's great when it works. But when it doesn't, sometimes you don't even know it. And that can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings.
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Putenio
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by Putenio » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:28 am

Just to add to the confirmation - message broadcast to WWOOF farms:

Muchísimas gracias por la información. James estaba de trakking.

Muchos saludos,

Gaston Fernandez
WWOOF Chile

El 14 de febrero de 2013 19:14, Refugio Cochamó <refugiocochamo@gmail.com> escribió:
Hola a todos,

James se encuentra en el camping de La Junta-Valle Cochamó. La PDI de Puerto Varas, y su mamá ya están informados. James se encuentra en este momento en un trekking pero me imagino que en las próximas horas estará de vuelta y le avisaremos que lo están buscando.

Saludos y quedamos a su disposición para cualquier consulta.

Silvina Verdún
Refugio Cochamó
www.cochamo.com

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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by aspendirtbikes » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:38 am

The concept of the Spot is great but it does not work in Chile and it doesn't work consistently in the mountains in the US (our experience was specifically in Colorado) and it goes through batteries very quickly. We need something like the concept for business needs but it's not reliable. Now, it's an expensive paperweight on my desk.

NWDriver, I will look into what you are using.

I think with technology today, we are often given a false sense of "security" - physical and emotional - of our boundaries. Many years ago, I was guiding a gear boat for a group down the Grand Canyon and they were debating the decision to carry a satellite phone, with one side saying that you make the choice to go into the wild and when you do make the choice, you must be aware of and accept the consequences and any possible scenarios. The other side, said "It's available. I'm valuable. I want it!" Personally, I side with carrying the satellite phone on a trip like that for use in emergencies. I accepted the risk that I might do something or something might happen to me that required medivac but I sure wanted the option of being evac'd out of there at pick up point than having to rely on them to get me out alive if anything went bad. And, honestly, I wanted the same for them. I didn't want to be responsible for keeping one of them alive or getting them out if they tripped and fell off a cliff or got an injury on the river! There was enough responsibility in getting their gear and whoever rode with me through all the rapids safe and sound!

We take people out into back country areas but they have to have some real skills and spend time with us beforehand so we have an idea of their capacity (on a few levels)! They can carry whatever they want, but we have to make sure they are "safe" within reason, informed of their risks, and we are responsible for getting them out if things go wrong, even when it's their fault. Any kind of outfitter has that job! Finding the technology that works, and knowing your limits, the limits of your gear, and your client - well, that's the deal.

I have two little boys and they are adventurous and independent at this age - I can only imagine that one day they will be telling me they are going off on some adventure that will keep me praying diligently! Before I had them, and am now wearing my heart outside my body walking around with them, I would have thought these parents went too far with the gear and coming down here. Now, I will tell you, I would do whatever it takes if I thought one of my boys was in trouble and might need me. I consider it my job. Not to coddle or micromanage, but I have seen this go the other way too many times (as I am sure many of you have as well) and I would want to know I had done everything in my power to help my boy, if that (God forbid) happened.

Over a year ago, we searched for two weeks for a 27 year old who went missing on his way home one night. He had just come to where we live to be in the midst of paradise for a while. He fell off a bridge, died on the way down, and was buried in the snow - even the dogs and mountain rescue didn't find him on a few rounds of searching that area. Two off-duty searchers wouldn't stop looking and found him on their day off, because they met the father and knew this kid needed to be found. It was heartbreaking.

I imagine one of those kinds of stories were swirling around in their heads and they couldn't bear not to be here, to be near, even if just to know he was ok. There's a balance between love and smother, doting and devoted. But it's for each one of us to find our own. Just like each of us has to find out own path in everything, every area of life.

I am thrilled with the news that this kid is ok and having the time of his life, exploring, searching and finding.

Best to you all.

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momof3
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by momof3 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:49 am

If nothing else I have learned through this experience who to count on as an expat in Chile. Cheers Allchile!
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by admin » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:53 am

So, we collectively managed to nail down exactly where he was and what happened before he was found, with little to no information to work with. Shame that someone actually got on an air plane over this.

When we were flying with a friend that had one of those SPOT systems, we use to joke if we pull the emergency pin our cell phones would start ringing as the company would likely try to contact us to outsource the rescue.

So, a few lessons. First, don't file missing persons reports in the Patagonia unless the person has been missing for at least a month (2 months, is still not really missing in the Patagonia).

Don't depend on GPS anything in Chile. The more south you go, the more worthless they are.

For god sake, let your kid learn to take care of himself. That SPOT system was a total false sense of security, and what happens is people will take risks they should not when they have that false sense of security.
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by admin » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:03 am

momof3 wrote:If nothing else I have learned through this experience who to count on as an expat in Chile. Cheers Allchile!
We have had a little practice at this:
http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topic3966.html
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
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From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:23 am

Of all the times I have seen people ask for help locating someone in Chile (lots), the only times it ended badly (twice) was when the person concerned went where they were not meant to go and alone without telling anyone. They put themselves in harm's way. Both were reported to be constantly in touch with family and everyone was assured that they would never go off without saying where they were going. But they did, as in this case. I can see both sides: the freedom of following your nose and the innate worry button all parents have. Not an easy balance. The fact that something was booked and he didn't turn up probably tipped the balance in this case. Anyway, there is going to be one embarrassed 18 year old when he gets back from his trek.

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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by nwdiver » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:34 pm

If you are going to use a simple comm system this is the only that works all over, short of deep valleys, it has to see a comm sat to work. It works north of 70 and south of 50 so far.

http://www.inreachdelorme.com/
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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by Brandonb » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:50 am

Thank you again everyone, we now have absolute conformation of Jame's safety and well being, your kindness and spread of the message was so far and beyond what we expected, it was truly humbling to see all of your efforts and reassurance, no amount of thanks is enough. To end, I'll share a post from my cousins facebook, thank you all again.

James O'Connell
Dear the world of the internet,
I appreciate the care and love sent out for my search in patagonia. I am sorry that i have put you all through such a worrying time. For your peace of mind I am safe. I was never in any dangerous situation. I fucked up and did not make a enough effort to tell you i was safe. I am sorry. Thanks for showing you care though

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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by ryanar » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:36 pm

aspendirtbikes wrote:The concept of the Spot is great but it does not work in Chile...
This statement is just plain incorrect and deserves clarification for those considering coming to Chile with one of these devices.

Personal experience of using SPOT in the northern half of Chile between 2010 and 2012, specifically in the Regions II and III, is that the system works very well, to the point of being almost infallible IF YOU USE IT CORRECTLY.

Like all technology, it has its limitations which must be taken into account. For example, if the unit is not given a reasonably clear view of the sky, it can't be expected to send its signal - i.e. if you press the button to send a message and then stick it in the glovebox of your car or inside your backpack, chances are it isn't going to work successfully. Additionally, if you're at the bottom of a deep valley and only have a restricted view of the sky, you obviously have a lower chance of sending a message due to the limited number of satellites in your "field of view".

On top of this, as Admin noted, the further south you get, the less chance you have of things working properly. SPOT functions reasonably well in the La Serena area, but distinctly less well in Santiago, HOWEVER this does depend on the model of the SPOT unit you have. Older models have just refused to work for me in Santiago.

Refer to the SPOT coverage map on their website, they clearly indicate that their coverage diminishes/disappears in southern Chile/Argentina.

In relation to "Mr Cockup", it was very pleasing to see he turned up in one piece! Kudos to all involved in helping locate him!

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Re: Cousin has gone missing in Chilie

Post by sweetbiscuit » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:36 am

Read this article on Gawker today and it reminded me Of this thread. Hilarious, but also kinda sad that legal adults are still so forcibly attached to the apron strings. (remind me of this when mine are backpacking in 15 years time). 8)

http://gawker.com/5987844/worlds-most-e ... socialflow

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