Monday, May 11, 2009

e-Rescue? Amver Notified Of Distress Through Twitter.

When Amver began using social media as a way to join the conversation we never dreamed something like Twitter would be used to notify officials of a search and rescue case. That is exactly what happened the other day when we learned of a distress through our Twitter account.

It all started when Twitter user @sustainableseas tweeted that his brother had gone missing off the coast of Honduras.

One of Amver's Twitter followers, @megayachtnews, sent us a direct message sharing the original message.

Not knowing if @sustainableseas had contacted a United States Coast Guard command center we reached out and encouraged him to send us his phone number. We talked to @sustainableseas and determined he notified the Coast Guard who handed the case over to Honduran authorities. We also gave him contact information for the Honduran command center.

As of this post authorities were still searching. We hope the case resolves quickly.

Government social media sites should be prepared for situations like this. Site managers should know how to route emergency requests. Emergency personnel should take requests for assistance through social media seriously.

Do you work in a command center? What is the strangest notification you have received?

1 comment:

Sue said...

Wow. In a critical situation I certainly wouldn't want to rely on Twitter. Unless you are monitoring continuously, precious time could be lost. Even if someone is online constantly, the time to get the important info back and forth would delay help. And let us not forget Twitter's notorious slowness and downtimes.

No, I cannot see Twitter being advertised as useful in an emergency, but any kind of emergency organization does need to be prepared that someone just might use it for an emergency call of some kind. And I'm not limiting this this concept to the USCG. That goes for fire, police and EMS also. Maybe airports. The possibilities are endless as to what organizations may need a protocol in place.

Glad it worked out okay for @sustainableseas, but the outcome could have been much much worse.