Big Brother – when does surveillance work?

Three climbers missing on Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain (3754m), are thought to have died, and are probably missing forever. The experienced trio of climbers from Australia and Germany set out on the mountain in light clothing to trek the base and explore some of the ice fields on the mountain’s lower slopes.

Big Brother – when does surveillance work? Their failure to return from the day-trek has sparked a massive air and ground search and rescue effort that will not save their lives, and will tragically cost a fraction of the rental cost of the personal satellite locator beacons that could have been the difference between salvation and the sad reality of death on a mountain.

Simple, yet effective locator beacons are now used worldwide by adventure sports enthusiasts, military units and emergency crews in remote environments where extraction for personal safety or medical rescue demands that rescuers can know the exact location of where the beacon, and its user, are.

In an age where shadow programmes such as the NSA’s surveillance of private individuals creates pandemonium within civil libertarian sectors, it is worth knowing that there is a need for the all-seeing and all-knowing tracking devices that have access to and share our personal movements when consequences create danger, or death.

An investment of only $30 by each of the climbers claimed this week by Mount Cook could have saved a life; or if death through an unavoidable incident occurred, then at least the bodies could have been quickly located and repatriated.

If snowy mountains are in your travel plans, check your policy for emergency evacuation insurance. The add-on is cheap; helicopters and Saint Bernards ain’t.