The ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Iran-backed terrorist groups led by Hamas is driving a spike in traveler purchases of security extraction services since the attack on October 7th, 2023.

“We’ve seen a 33% increase in traveler purchases of security services since the attack compared to the same period before the strike,” said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services, and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Terrorism and war in a country drives down traveler confidence in the entire region as travelers grapple with a dramatically different risk environment. We’re also seeing an increase in traveler concern worldwide, but it is the most pronounced in the Middle East,” he added.

Global Rescue continues to conduct operations to bring member tourists and others to safety in and around Israel. “We’re doing everything we can in a tough and evolving situation,” Richards said. “Our security operations teams already have successfully helped more than 68 members to safety, and we will continue to assist those who contact us in need of help.”

In a typical 30-day period, Global Rescue performs hundreds of operations in dozens of countries and territories. The following are highlights of a few rescue operations completed in September and October.


Security Extractions in Israel

Members from New York, New Jersey and Washington were among the more than 60 people extracted from Israel immediately following the Hamas attacks on October 7th. In one instance, the New York member contacted Global Rescue security operations from within a bomb shelter in a Tel Aviv hotel. Our security operations experts provided extensive safety advisory guidance while coordinating a security extraction using land and air transport. The individuals were successfully transported under an armed escort using armored vehicles to Ben Gurion Airport where they successfully departed the country.

A New Jersey member was sheltering in Jerusalem when a colleague contacted Global Rescue security operations to assist the member in a secure extraction from Israel. Global Rescue security and intelligence experts contacted the sheltering member and coordinated a successful secure transport to Ben Gurion airport and a safe departure from Israel.

A couple from Washington state were having breakfast in their Jerusalem hotel on the morning of the attack. The pair heard rocket attacks and rifle fire. That’s when they decided to leave. They secured ground transport to Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb, where they were immediately directed to a hotel bomb shelter. Between rocket attacks the couple contacted Global Rescue security operations experts to determine the seriousness of the situation and the best course for safe extraction. After several interruptions due to rocket attacks, the two members were successfully transported with an armed escort to the airport where they successfully boarded a flight out of the country to Madrid, Spain.


A sailboat at sea in foggy conditions.


Rudderless at Sea

A Zoleo user triggered his SOS button, connecting him immediately with Global Rescue operations experts. Rescue team members learned the individual was sailing a 23-foot sailboat in the North Atlantic Ocean. A storm struck, and he lost the ability to steer. “My sailboat rudder broke off. I’m in a storm. Need to abandon ship. I’m the only crew onboard.” Global Rescue operations notified the U.S. Coast Guard, relayed details of the incident and coordinated rescue efforts. The member stayed in constant contact with Global Rescue operations and relayed he had a sustained a head injury and his life raft had been washed away. Global Rescue operations coordinated with the coast guard, and identified a ship that could reach him in four hours (he was beyond helicopter range) and the vessel plotted a course to his location. The member was rescued successfully and treated for his injuries.


[Related Reading: Sail Away With Global Rescue on Board]


Misstep on Marble Steps in Portugal

Accidents can happen anywhere, not only in remote locations. A U.S. member traveling in Portugal fell on the marble steps of her hotel in Esposende, injuring her right knee. She contacted Global Rescue medical operations and noted swelling and throbbing pain in the injured area. She was transported to a hospital where medical staff diagnosed her with a kneecap fracture. She was discharged with a prescription and medical devices to support her injury. Her treating physician did not recommend surgery, and she was cleared to travel home to Missouri. Global Rescue provided business class seating, wheelchair assistance and ground transport services.


A helicopter approaches a landing in high, snowy mountains.


HAPE on Mount Manaslu

A Las Vegas member was suffering from symptoms of High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) on Mount Manaslu. Her symptoms included cough, difficulty breathing, and her oxygen saturation level was dangerously low at 49%. After seeing a physician at basecamp, she started using supplemental oxygen. Unfortunately, her symptoms did not improve. Global Rescue medical operations physicians reviewed the case and recommended an immediate airborne evacuation to a hospital in Kathmandu capable of treating HAPE. Upon arrival at the hospital, treating physicians evaluated and diagnosed her with HAPE. She improved quickly and was released from the hospital with instructions to rest and hydrate.


[Related Reading: Altitude Sickness: Life-saving Tips for Climbers]


Abdominal Cramps in Nepal

A U.S. member experienced severe abdominal pain on Mount Manaslu at Camp 1. A member of her expedition team contacted Global Rescue medical operations. A doctor at Camp 1 initially prescribed medication that provided temporary relief. Global Rescue physicians agreed that if the discomfort didn’t abate then a helicopter medical evacuation would be initiated. Unfortunately, the member’s pain recurred the following day. Her heart rate was elevated at 125 bpm and her pain level had increased, too. An airborne field rescue commenced, and the member was transported successfully to a hospital in Kathmandu.


Remember, a Global Rescue travel membership has your back in all sorts of ways. Sure, there are the services we provide to our members if there’s a need: field rescue, medical evacuation, medical and security advisory, to name just a few. But it’s the benefit of peace of mind, inspired by those services – and the emergency experts who deliver them 24/7/365 – that resonates most with our members.