Global Rescue deployed a team of specialists to Nepal to perform rescue operations during the spring 2023 Mount Everest climbing season. “During the two-month 2023 Mount Everest spring climbing season, there will usually be several rescue operations performed each day, keeping the deployment team busy from before dawn until nearly midnight,” said Dan Stretch, a Global Rescue operations manager based in Nepal during the Mount Everest climbing season who has performed more than 500 evacuations and crisis response operations in the Himalayas.  

Global Rescue services are not only for medical emergencies related to adventure travel. Global Rescue members get real-time access to doctors, paramedics and nurses who will help sort out minor injuries or illnesses like a twisted ankle, upset stomach or snake bite. Membership also includes travel advice. Concerned about a flash flood warning? Need help with a local language barrier? Did you run out of a prescription? Global Rescue members are one call away from expert help. 

Global Rescue has responded to the needs of travelers at home and abroad since 2004. In a typical month, Global Rescue performs hundreds of operations in dozens of countries. Below are highlights from some of our most recent operations in various locations.

Skiing accident in Canada with snowy mountains 

Skiing Accident in Canada

A couple from Salt Lake City were skiing the backcountry out of cellular service range in the mountains of northwestern British Columbia, Canada when the wife had a bad fall, twisting her right knee and ankle. Unable to continue, the couple’s skiing guide called for a helicopter field rescue, transporting the injured member to a nearby hospital where she was examined and diagnosed with a right ankle fracture and a meniscal tear in her knee. The Global Rescue medical operations team concurred with the treating physician’s recommendation for the member to fly home as soon as possible for an immediate orthopedic consultation. Global Rescue provided for wheelchair assistance at the airport and an airplane seating upgrade to keep her leg elevated. The member and her husband arrived home safely. 

Helicopter rescue in Himalayan mountains

Chopper Rescue In Nepal 

A member from Florida suffering symptoms of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) needed a helicopter rescue from Dingboche (14,470 ft/4,410 m), a popular stop for trekkers and climbers headed to Mount Everest, Ama Dablam or Imja Tse. The expedition leader contacted Global Rescue operations reporting the member’s oxygen saturation level was 53% — well below the normal range of 95% to 100%. Supplemental oxygen elevated the member’s level to 83% but she remained weak and experienced continued difficulty breathing. The Global Rescue operations team initiated an airborne rescue and transport of the member to a nearby hospital. The hospital’s treating physician confirmed an AMS diagnosis and provided supplemental oxygen and a dexamethasone tab. Feeling better, the member traveled to Kathmandu for further medical evaluation and reported feeling stable.

Cyclone Injury In Vanuatu

An Australian couple was vacationing in Port Vila in The Republic of Vanuatu, an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean when a category four cyclone struck with sustained winds of 158–198 kph/98-123 mph and gusts up to 280 kph/175 mph. The destructive winds caused damage and the husband sustained a serious injury to his hand from a broken window. A local physician examined the member and diagnosed him with two severed tendons on his right hand and recommended immediate surgery. Unfortunately, the local medical facility could not perform the required surgery. Global Rescue was contacted, and the medical operations team concurred the need for prompt surgery. The couple flew to Brisbane, Australia where the husband was admitted and underwent successful surgery. He was discharged from the hospital with a fit-to-fly letter. The Global Rescue operations team arranged a medical evacuation for the recovering member from Brisbane to Sydney, Australia. The couple arrived home safely.  

Ski Accident in Switzerland

A U.S. member suffered a dislocated shoulder following an accident while skiing in Visp, Switzerland. She contacted Global Rescue and we airlifted her via helicopter for emergency treatment to a nearby hospital. The member remained in Zermatt to continue her recovery. The Global Rescue medical operations team physician reviewed her case and determined she would need assistance for her return trip. The Global Rescue operations team provided ground transportation for her from Newark International Airport to her home in New York where she arrived safely.  

Two trekkers in Nepal walking on rocky surface with snow capped mountains

Head Injury Trekking In Nepal 

While recovering from a head injury after a rock fell on her, a member from Germany contacted Global Rescue operations for help. The member was trekking to Namche Bazaar in Nepal when the large stone struck her, knocking her unconscious. We evacuated her by a helicopter and she was admitted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion and treated for a two-and-a-half inch (6cm) laceration on the right side of her head. The member remained in the hospital for several days to recover before she was discharged and cleared fit to fly home in business class. As part of her membership services, Global Rescue’s medical team of physicians reviewed the case and concurred with the recommendation for business class to allow for repositioning for comfort, minimizing dizziness and nausea, and other concussion symptoms that might occur in flight. The member arrived at her home in Dusseldorf safely and without incident.