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Are you still among the travelers who go fishing away from home without a medical evacuation membership? Well, here is a story that will help drive home how reckless your behavior is. Seems the medical evacuation company we support, Global Rescue, has just evacuated a sportsman from the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. No, the member was not fishing in that wilderness; he was hunting. But that’s a distinction without a difference. The sportsman in question severely injured his leg many miles from any kind of medical help. He urgently needed immediate care.
If you’ve fished the Kamchatka Peninsula, you have some idea what it costs members of a group to book a helicopter in that part of the world. Well, imagine what it would cost you as an individual to arrange for a helicopter. And consider what it would be like to enter a hospital in that part of the world, on your own, for some kind of emergency care.
The Global Rescue member in question was picked up in camp at no cost and flown to a hospital in Petropavlosk, where his care was carefully monitored by critical care paramedics in the Boston headquarters of Global Rescue and by specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine. As soon as the hunter was stabilized and approved for travel, he was flown home. Along the way, he was joined by a critical care paramedic, who accompanied him to his home hospital of choice. He is recovering nicely.
A leg injury not scary enough to stampede you toward the conclusion that it is dangerous and foolish to travel without medical evacuation coverage? Well, note the other evacuation Global Rescue performed for a sportsman recently. It involved a member and his wife who were on safari in Botswana. Mid-safari, the hunter developed a severe cough. Here is how the Mission Summary describes what happened next: “He visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with bronchitis, his coughing worsened and he became short of breath. His safari guide called Global Rescue for help. Global Rescue’s medical staff obtained the member’s test results, suggested he be evaluated for congestive heart failure after reviewing his medical history, and recommended a medical evacuation from the camp. Global Rescue immediately launched a medically equipped aircraft to evacuate the member, who was transported from a remote landing strip to Johannesburg, the location of the best cardiology unit on the continent. There, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and the local surgeons and Global Rescue physicians agreed he would require immediate bypass surgery. Global Rescue deployed a medical team to his bedside to oversee and coordinate his treatment. After a lengthy and complicated procedure and post-operative rehabilitation that saved his life, the man and his wife were transported home to Texas.”
You can find out more about Global Rescue on the Angling Report web site at: http://www.globalrescue .com/AnglingReport/. Or you can probably ask your booking agent or outfitter about Global Rescue, since most of the important players are now Global Rescue Affinity Partners. The companies offering Global Rescue include: Acute Angling, Adventure Travel Alliance, Amazon Fishing Adventures Turismo, Angling Destinations, B & B Worldwide Fishing Adventures, Cabelas, Castafly Travel, Emerald Water Anglers, Fishabout, Fish Quest, Fish With Me, Fishin’ Expeditions, Fishing With Larry, The Fly Shop, FlyCastaway, Frontiers, Fly Water Travel, Hanover Fly Fishers, Hydrus Expeditions, International Angling, Life of the Fly Outfitters, Nervous Waters, Salt Patrol Co., Slipstream Angling, Sportfishing Worldwide, Sweetwater Travel, The Trout Shop, Wild On The Fly and Yellow- dog Fly Fishing.
In addition to the above agents, Wollaston Lake Lodge in northern Saskatchewan strongly recommends that all clients purchase a Global Rescue membership before travel. Even more significant, two major angling companies, Deneki Outdoors, (which operates in Chile, The Bahamas, Alaska and British Columbia) and Amazon Agency Corporation (which runs Agua Boa Amazon Lodge) purchase Global Rescue memberships for all of their clients. Global Rescue is getting inquiries from other fishing lodges around the world about this kind of blanket coverage for all clients. Short-term memberships cost as little as $119 a week.
If your agent or lodge is not mentioned here and/or he or she does not make a point of offering you medical evacuation protection before you travel, you may want to ask why, as medical evacuation is emerging as one of those imperatives that all smart travelers sign up for. Even the US State Department now recommends that all travelers arm themselves with medical evacuation protection.