Methods for Signaling Search-and-Rescue Teams - dummies

Methods for Signaling Search-and-Rescue Teams

By Cameron M. Smith, John F. Haslett

Part of Wilderness Survival For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re in the wild and need help, you send out a signal –- basically anything to get noticed. A good signal not only gets the attention of search-and-rescue teams but also of people not looking for you — passersby who can help before professionals arrive. The following methods show you how to get people’s attention with signals.

Ground-to-air emergency code

These symbols are recognized by Search and Rescue pilots as distress signals. Make sure you make these signals a 6:1 ratio so rescuers can see them from the air.


Aiming reflector

You must carefully aim your mirror’s reflection at the aircraft or vessel you wish to signal, or you may not be seen. You can use a mirror or other reflective items, such as a CD or DVD.


Group splash

If a ring of people all kick simultaneously, the water in the center turns white, briefly, which can be seen against the blue ocean.