Wimpy Yuppie 'Panic Button' Irks Rescuers

Hikers triggered emergency beacon over 'salty water'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 26, 2009 5:51 AM CDT
A group of dads and sons hiking in the Grand Canyon recently activated their emergency personal locator beacon because the water they were drinking tasted "salty."   (©hermitsmoores)
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(Newser) – Wimpy yuppies are pushing their "panic button" locator beams so often that they're driving rescuers nuts. Two dads and their sons recently triggered a search-and-rescue operation in the Grand Canyon because their water "tasted too salty," reports the AP. One emergency crew has a nickname for the emergency locator beacons, which are intended to pinpoint lost hikers in life-threatening situations: "Yuppie 911."

"With the Yuppie 911, you send a message and the government pulls your butt out of something you shouldn't have been in in the first place," said one angry California rescue boss. People in the past used to "self-rescue—they got on their hands and knees and crawled out," said another rescue coordinator. Now they complain: "I'm cold and damp. Come get me." The beacons, which send distress signals to government satellites, now cost less than $100 and have been legal for the public to use since 2003.