Apple iPhone Emergency SOS feature saves stranded man in Alaska
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Featured Image Credit: Apple/ Wavebreakmedia Ltd UC_D / Alamy
A new iPhone feature helped save a man who became stranded while travelling through Alaska on a snowmobile.
Apple unveiled Emergency SOS via satellite at its product launch in September, though it wasn't until November 15 that the feature became available for iPhone users in the US and Canada.
Available on all iPhone 14 models, the feature comes in handy in situations where there isn't any phone signal or Wi-Fi coverage, ensuring users can still get in touch with emergency services via satellite.
Just a couple of weeks after the feature was rolled out, Alaska State Troopers were notified that an Apple iPhone Emergency SOS via satellite had been activated.
The call came at around 2:00am local time on Friday (1 December) from an adult male who had been travelling via snowmobile from Noorvik to Kotzebue in Alaska.
He had become stranded during his journey and needed help, so local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center, and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator worked together to deploy four volunteer searchers to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center.
The man was located and rescuers transported him to Kotzebue, with no injuries reported during the search mission.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, praised the feature as he pointed out that 'some of the most popular places to travel are off the beaten path and simply lack cellular coverage'.
In a statement made when the feature rolled out in the US, Joswiak continued: "With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 lineup provides an indispensable tool that can get users the help they need while they are off the grid.
"Our teams worked tirelessly to tackle a new set of technical challenges to bring this service to life, in addition to building a reliable on-the-ground infrastructure. Emergency SOS via satellite is a breakthrough service available only on the iPhone 14 lineup, and a new innovation that we hope will provide our customers some peace of mind.”
Even prior to the rescue in Alaska, Mark Ghilarducci, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ director, said that providing Emergency SOS via satellite 'is an important breakthrough that will save lives'.
"The critical work being done by Apple to create innovative new solutions to support 911 providers and first responders is a huge step forward in protecting Californians and the broader public during an emergency situation,” he added.
Topics: Technology, Apple