Using ‘Sarloc’, an application designed to work with smartphones, the rescue manager was able to locate the group remotely and give them directions on how to proceed. The group had lost confidence in their own abilities, and were hesitant about moving on from their current location, so a small party of ASART volunteers was readied to walk them off the hill. In the
event, the location information enabled the expedition’s remote supervisor to regain contact with the group, and the Team were stood down.
Rescuers initiate Sarloc by sending the missing party a text message with a link to a webpage. Clicking on this link opens a
page in the phone's browser which queries the phone to identify its location. This location data is then relayed to the Mountain Rescue Team.
“The software requires a phone with a good signal, internet capabilities and GPS, and unfortunately, many of the mountainous areas still have patchy mobile coverage”, said Chris Dunn, the Team Leader who deployed the app. “We always encourage people enjoying the outdoors to take responsibility for their own safety, but this gives us another useful tool when things go wrong in an area with mobile coverage.”