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Garmin Releases 2023 SOS Trend Report

A new report by GPS tech company Garmin highlights annual trends in which users triggered their SOS emergency communication feature on their Garmin inReach, a handheld satellite messaging device. 

In the report, Garmin said it can receive emergency messages in more than 200 and 210 languages, but the report does not provide percentages or estimates (last year’s report listed more than 105,000 SOS alerts and 10,000 inReach SOS responses). Instead, you can make presumptions using pie charts. 

garmin report activity
Most of the time an emergency was trigged during a hiking or backpacking trip followed by a vehicle issue. Graph: Garmin

The main takeaways from the 2023 report include: 

  • A majority of people triggered an SOS while hiking or backpacking followed by driving and then boating. Garmin added that there was an increase in boating alerts. 
  • The main reasons they sounded the alarm were injuries, vehicle issues, medical issues, or they were stuck or lost. 
  • Most of the people who triggered an emergency were alone followed by a group of people or a third party. 
  • And, most of the time people were saved by a helicopter followed by an ambulance or they self-rescued. 
garmin report reason
The report shows that the vast majority of the time people were either injured or had a medical issued. Graph: Garmin

Additionally, the Garmin report revealed the areas in which people needed saving. According to the map, they mostly needed saving in the western United States, followed by the east coast, and Alaska. However, Garmin said it helped coordinate rescues all over the world, in places like Mount Everest, New Zealand, Norway, Argentina, Canada, and more.

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