Weather Blog: NOAA satellites helped save over 300 lives in 2020

COSPAS-SARSAT uses a network of U.S. and international spacecrafts to detect and locate distress signals sent from emergency beacons.

Posted: Jan 29, 2021 11:51 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) —The NOAA satellites play a major role in weather but they also had a hand in rescuing 304 people from potentially life-threatening situations in 2020.

In a release Thursday, NOAA says of the 304 U.S. rescues last year, 217 of them were water rescues, 12 were aviation incidents and 75 were from events on land.

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Florida had the most Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) rescues with 67, followed by Alaska with 29.

The record for the most SARSAT U.S. rescues in one year was 421 set in 2019.

According to the release, COSPAS-SARSAT uses a network of U.S. and international spacecrafts to detect and locate distress signals sent from emergency beacons.

The distress calls could be from aircrafts, boats or even handheld Personal Locator Beacons or PLBs anywhere in the world.

When a NOAA satellite pinpoints the location of a distress signal in the U.S, the information is relayed to SARSAT Mission Control Center and NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Maryland.

From there, the information is sent quickly to Rescue Coordination Centers that are either operated by the U.S. Air Force (land rescue) or the U.S. Coast Guard (water rescue).

NOAA will also relay a distress signal to international SARSAT partners.

In the release, NOAA documented a harrowing case in 2020.

About 60 miles northwest of Clearwater, Florida, four people were rescued from a sinking boat impacted by Tropical Storm Sally.

The Coast Guard received the alert details from an onboard PBL.

Since water conditions were hazardous, the Coast Guard diverted a container ship to rescue the sailors.

Beacon owners are required by law to register their PBL devices with NOAA.

According to NOAA, the registration information helps provide better and faster assistance to people in distress and it reduces false alarms.

Since the beginning of COSPAS-SARSAT in 1982, there have been more than 48,000 rescues worldwide including 9,400 in the United States and its surrounding waters.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
Madison18748409
Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
Monroe15263200
LaPorte15173250
Delaware15073263
Howard14748290
Kosciusko12348148
Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
Wabash5332104
Jasper532079
Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
Scott438974
Greene425196
Wells424888
Clay423360
White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
LaGrange359078
Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
Pike229243
Tipton228159
Blackford193142
Pulaski183757
Crawford159823
Newton158348
Benton150617
Brown146747
Martin138719
Switzerland135011
Warren121116
Union107016
Ohio84613
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1515838

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1640131696
Cuyahoga1460532459
Hamilton1052061431
Montgomery738951279
Summit616491111
Lucas56212917
Butler51500718
Stark465771064
Lorain35525585
Warren32769377
Mahoning30719693
Clermont28151330
Lake26979448
Delaware24159164
Licking23882294
Trumbull22825561
Fairfield22354247
Greene22289326
Medina22002313
Clark19812354
Richland18559292
Portage17924252
Wood17427224
Allen15967279
Miami15524306
Muskingum14789185
Columbiana14017274
Wayne13755271
Tuscarawas12692311
Marion11957180
Scioto11452162
Pickaway11356142
Erie10867184
Ross10555203
Lawrence9746153
Ashtabula9701204
Hancock9687155
Belmont9287209
Geauga8933157
Jefferson8547199
Huron8380143
Union818859
Washington8085144
Sandusky7807151
Athens776179
Knox7705144
Darke7643158
Seneca7343145
Ashland6945130
Auglaize678699
Shelby6516115
Brown635291
Crawford6261130
Defiance6192105
Mercer614593
Fulton601296
Highland599399
Madison593978
Guernsey589771
Logan587996
Clinton582993
Preble5710125
Putnam5323110
Williams528088
Perry517363
Champaign511573
Jackson508573
Ottawa486286
Coshocton482283
Morrow458158
Pike433467
Fayette428263
Hardin418080
Gallia417267
Adams416695
Van Wert370882
Henry364072
Holmes3624125
Hocking356482
Wyandot322962
Carroll301765
Paulding279447
Meigs264651
Monroe215554
Noble199747
Morgan193933
Harrison181446
Vinton165525
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Van Wert
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 49°
Showers on tap for Sunday with the chance of a few thunderstorms.
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