Southwest Paddlers Association now has a Garmin inReach satellite communicator. This is a safety device that can be used by SWPA members who are planning wilderness trips or ocean paddling expeditions.
In a nutshell: in the event there’s a serious accident or a life is in danger in remote areas that are not accessible by ambulance, this unit has an SOS feature that can be used to call in a helicopter and medics.
The Garmin inReach has many other functions including allowing family, friends and emergency contacts the ability to track paddlers on a trip, and to send or receive messages.
The unit cost close to $500 and another $500 was required to subscribe to a world-wide satellite service. The money from the Municipality of Argyle ($200) and Yarmouth Recreation ($200) along with member donations ($600) covered the purchase cost, as well as the satellite subscription fee for the coming year.
The unit will be available to members of SWPA who are planning trips and the association will be asking for a $20 donation per person per trip to cover the satellite subscription fee going forward.