Stray Signals

The ARRL Letter, April 29, 2021

The ARRL Letter
April 29, 2021

Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, Editor

[Note: Clicking on the story links below will take you to the news article as it appears in The ARRL Letter on the ARRL website.]

  • Amateur Radio Credited with Rescue of Back-Country Hiker in Tennessee
  • ARRL Awards Colvin Grant to 3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition in 2023
  • Career Opportunities Available at ARRL Headquarters
  • ARRL Learning Network Webinars
  • Support ARRL When Shopping for Mother’s Day
  • ARRL Executive Committee Nominates Joel Harrison, W5ZN, to be Next IARU Secretary
  • ARISS-USA Seeks Volunteers to Further its Mission
  • Announcements
  • Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test Set for May 7 – 8
  • Bill Introduced to Designate April 18, 2022, as National Amateur Radio Operators Day
  • Amateur Radio in the News
  • ARISS Contact with Australian School Proves Educational on More Than One Continent
  • The K7RA Solar Update
  • In Brief…
  • Just Ahead in Radiosport
  • Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

Amateur Radio Credited with Rescue of Back-Country Hiker in Tennessee

A back-country hiker was rescued from Great Smoky Mountains National Park with assistance from amateur radio after she became exhausted on the trail and possibly dehydrated. A member of the hiking group on the park’s Little River Trail, Tim Luttrell, KA9EBJ, put out a call on the evening of April 11 via the W4KEV linked VHF repeater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, requesting assistance in extricating the injured member. No cell phone service was available at the location, and Luttrell’s signal was spotty at times, owing to the mountainous terrain.

Responding was David Manuel, W5DJR, who obtained more information and called 911, which routed the call to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Emergency Medical Service (GSMNP EMS). The national park EMS relayed through Manuel a request for the group to continue down the trail as far as possible to shorten the rescue time.

A medic with the Park Service search-and-rescue team subsequently reached Manuel by telephone, who served to relay questions to Luttrell. Manuel contacted members of the hiker’s family after Luttrell provided contact numbers. Manuel was asked to relay information for the family to arrange to meet in Cherokee, North Carolina, and be prepared to transport the distressed hiker’s vehicle to her home.

Manuel got a call from Luttrell indicating “all clear” shortly after 2 AM.

The injured hiker was hospitalized and required surgery and rehabilitation. ARRL Tennessee Section Manager Dave Thomas, KM4NYI, told ARRL that he’d learned another hiker in the same group was close to hypothermia by the time they were rescued.

Thomas will

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