Update on the role Thuraya phones played in a K2 climber’s resuce

From the XSat USA website:

XSAT USA played an intricate role in the survival of two climbers after the recent mountain disaster on K2. A team of twenty two explorers were attempting to successfully reach the summit and descend the deadly K2 when disaster struck. While descending the mountain, an ice wall collapsed upon the weary climbers and destroyed the ropes and lines necessary for the safe descent. Team members were scattered throughout the mountain’s “dead zone” with no possible chance of survival without a rescue attempt. Survivor Wilco Van Rooijen used a Thuraya Satellite Phone to contact his brother in desperation. Rooijen’s brother contacted Tom Sjogren of the mountaineering website ExplorersWeb. Tom then reached XSAT USA President Jan Rademaker on Friday, August 1 at 10:30 p.m. in need of Satellite GPS coordinates from Van Rooijen’s call history. XSAT employees in Dubai managed to access the information necessary to mount a rescue attempt through Thuraya, a satellite communication company based out of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. When Rooijen used his phone to call his brother, his GPS location was saved at the Thuraya ground station in Sharjah, UAE, giving Pakistani helicopters a chance to rescue two of the stranded climbers. The men were successfully rescued and taken to a Pakistani hospital for frostbite treatment.

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