The transmitter in a Breitling Emergency watch recently saved the life of a stranded hunter in Alaska. On August 15, Mark Spencer was hunting grizzly bears about 120 miles northeast of Anchorage when he became stuck in the wilderness along Susitna River in the heart of the infamous Alaska Range. Unable to navigate the hazardous rapids of the Susitna River, his float-hunting party had diverted the course of their boat to the Tyone River, which proved too shallow for their vessel. Spencer left his group and went searching for help on the glaciated Susitna River and struck a shoal tearing a hole in the vessel, sinking it in the icy waters. He had spent more than 48 hours struggling for his life in the Alaskan Backcountry.
The Breitling Emergency watch is designed with a micro-transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency. The transmitter is activated by unscrewing a protective cap and extending a short antenna. The signal can be heard for about 100 miles and will broadcast for 48 hours. After Spencer activated the transmitter on the timepiece, a rescue crew was able to pinpoint his exact location and lift him to safety by helicopter after they picked up the distress signal. By contrast, his hand-held Personal Locator Beacon device was incorrectly pointing the search team to a location 4 miles away.