Article Highlights:

  • Amidst the travel surge, nearly two-thirds of experienced travelers are seeking security extraction protection for travel to countries with Level 1 or Level 2 U.S. State Department advisories, driven by concerns over global conflicts.
  • Global Rescue has conducted over 25,000 medical and security rescues in our 20 years, highlighting our extensive experience in travel risk management, with hundreds of operations monthly across dozens of countries.
  • Our services are critical for travelers, especially those engaging in high-risk activities like high-altitude climbing, providing 24/7 advisory services, field rescue, and evacuation to the nearest adequate hospital or our members’ home hospitals of choice.


The travel surge continues, and along with it, travelers are boosting their security protection behavior. According to the 2024 Spring Global Rescue Travel Safety and Sentiment Survey, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the world’s most experienced travelers reported they would obtain security extraction protection services if the U.S. State Department travel advisory assigned to the country they plan to visit was “Level 1, exercise normal precautions,” or “Level 2, exercise increased caution.”

“Travelers are saying the war in Ukraine, the Hamas attacks on Israel or other violent conflicts make it more likely they will add security extraction and advisory protection to their travel protection packages,” said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Global Rescue has responded to the needs of travelers at home and abroad since 2004. This year we are celebrating 25,000+ medical and security rescues in the 20th year of operation as pioneers in travel risk management. It’s an incredible record of saving lives and protecting travelers during emergencies.

In a typical month, we perform hundreds of operations in dozens of countries. Below are highlights from some of our most recent operations in various locations.


A view of a motorcycle's controls while driving on a paved road through a green forest.
On a motorcycle, there are risks around every bend.

Motorcycle Crash in Tennessee

A New York member was riding his motorcycle along Deals Gap in Tennessee when he lost traction and crashed, injuring his right leg. He contacted Global Rescue operations for assistance during his emergency. He was evaluated at a university medical center where imaging revealed multiple leg fractures, specifically in his tibia and fibula. He underwent surgery and, after receiving a fit to fly recommendation, our operations team arranged first-class airborne transport for medically required extended leg room and wheelchair assistance for his safe return home to Albany, New York.


[Related reading: 10 Reasons Why You Need Global Rescue]


A rescue helicopter flies above snowy mountains.
Rescues of Everest climbers run nearly round the clock during climbing season.

Collapse on Mount Everest

A Mexican climber collapsed on Mount Everest’s south summit while climbing and needed to be carried down by four sherpas using a stretcher. Global Rescue’s deployed team of medical operations and rescue experts were notified and informed that the member was awake, receiving a high flow of oxygen and was being carried to Mount Everest Camp 2. Unfortunately, he was awake but talking nonsensically and coughing up pink sputum. Global Rescue initiated an immediate medical evacuation by helicopter and successfully transported him from Camp 2 to a hospital where he was evaluated and treated for a lower respiratory tract infection, which negatively affected the airways, before being discharged by treating physicians.


Colorful, small cottages on Greenland's coast.
Colorful cottages on Greenland’s shores.

Head Injury in Greenland

Global Rescue operations responded to an emergency satellite phone call from Greenland. The member reported head and hip injuries from a fall, although he’d remained conscious and saw no visible trauma. Despite taking pain medication, a Global Rescue physician advised him to seek an immediate in-person evaluation at a medical facility equipped for radiology, given the potential severity of head and hip injuries. Due to his remote location, we rapidly arranged a helicopter transport to the nearest airport, followed by commercial airline transfer to a hospital in Nuuk, Greenland’s largest city. After hospital evaluation, and with no signs of distress, the member went to Copenhagen and finally to his home in Seattle, Washington, where he confirmed he’d seek a doctor’s thorough assessment.


Several colorful high-altitude climbers traverse a snowy mountain.
Frostbite territory.

Frostbite at High Altitude

While climbing at high altitude in Nepal, an Argentine member suffered severe frostbite injuries to her feet and toes, along with swelling that prevented her from opening her right eye. When an expedition leader alerted Global Rescue, our deployed medical and rescue experts sprang into action. Given the member’s critical condition and inability to walk, we immediately initiated an airborne helicopter evacuation from Everest Camp 2 to a nearby hospital. Upon arrival, she was diagnosed with Grade 3 frostbite on both toes, facial swelling, and dehydration. The hospital admitted her for specialized frostbite treatment and ongoing monitoring. As her condition improved, the Global Rescue team visited her to ensure she was receiving the best possible care.


[Related reading: Know Before You Go – How to Use a Global Rescue Membership]


Fogs lifts from the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Fog lifts from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa.

Medevac From South Africa

An American member was hiking in South Africa’s northern cape when he sustained a knee injury and contacted Global Rescue. He was evaluated at a nearby clinic and was diagnosed with a spontaneous rupture of the right quadriceps tendon, a rare condition characterized by the simultaneous tear of the fibrous tissue connecting the quadriceps muscle to the patella bone, according to the National Institutes of Health. Prompt diagnosis is crucial for appropriate treatment and optimal outcomes. Unfortunately, the medical facility was not equipped with imaging capabilities. The treating physician recommended for fit to fly with a requirement for the injured man’s leg to remain straight and elevated. The Global Rescue operations team arranged repatriation on a business-class flight with wheelchair assistance. The member departed Johannesburg and safely arrived at his home city in Portland, Oregon, where he would continue his recovery.


Mount Everest on a clear day.
Thin air and bronchitis don’t mix.

Bronchitis on Mount Everest

Acute bronchitis is a respiratory condition characterized by swelling and inflammation in the main air passages to the lungs. This swelling constricts the airways, making breathing more difficult. Common symptoms include coughing and producing mucus. High-altitude mountaineering, with its thinner air, already challenges breathing, and when an American member’s cough worsened at Mount Everest Camp 2, her climbing group leaders grew concerned and contacted Global Rescue. Given her deteriorating condition and the risk of pulmonary complications, our team swiftly initiated a helicopter field rescue. She was successfully evacuated to a hospital, diagnosed with bronchitis and an asthma attack, received treatment, and discharged to recover. Physicians advised her to seek reevaluation if her cough didn’t improve.


A helicopter flies amongst the Himalayas on a cloudy day.
A rescue lift from the skies.

Snow Blindness at Camp 2

At Mount Everest Camp 2, a mountaineer required urgent field rescue after developing debilitating snow blindness. When an expedition member alerted Global Rescue, our deployed medical and rescue experts in Nepal were immediately notified. The affected member had begun experiencing snow blindness the previous night, and while an expedition doctor administered eye drops, his condition didn’t improve enough for a safe descent. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Global Rescue’s medical operations team swiftly initiated a helicopter field rescue and medical evacuation. Inclement weather initially hindered rescue efforts, but as soon as conditions allowed, our team successfully airlifted the member to a hospital. He was treated for moderate dehydration, hematuria, and snow blindness, and discharged only after his doctors deemed it safe.


Considering a High-Altitude Climb?

Traveling for a trek or a mountain climb? Include a travel protection services membership. Are you already a member? Get a refresher on how to use your Global Rescue membership by reviewing the Quick Start Guide.

Whether you’re climbing Mount Everest, motorcycling in Nepal, or hiking up Table Mountain in Cape Town, you’ll have access to 24/7/365 medical advisory services, field rescue from the point of injury, and medical evacuation to the nearest hospital or home hospital of choice.

If you’re planning a high-altitude climb, be sure to obtain a High-Altitude Evacuation Package, available to members 16 years of age or older.