Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature has been credited with saving the life of a stranded man in Alaska. The man, who traveled by snow machine from Noorvik to Kotzebue, was stranded in a remote area with no mobile or Wi-Fi connection.
He used the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to contact the authorities, who were able to rescue him using the satellite technology.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is designed to enable iPhone 14 users to contact emergency services via satellite connection when cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not available. It was rolled out with the launch of iOS 16.1 and is available to all iPhone 14 users.
In the event of an emergency, users can activate the feature to send an alert to authorities along with their GPS coordinates and other relevant information.
The rescue in Alaska
In the early hours of December 1, Alaska State Troopers received a warning from a man stranded in a rural area. The man was in a cold, remote location with no connection, and he activated the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to notify the authorities of his predicament.
Apple’s Emergency Response Center worked with local search and rescue teams and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator to direct volunteer searchers directly to the GPS coordinates provided to Apple through the emergency feature.
The effectiveness of the function
The man was successfully rescued and there were no injuries. Troopers who assisted in the rescue were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of the information in the initial alert,” according to a statement from Apple.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is designed to ask several questions before sending an alert to speed up rescue missions.
Availability and costs
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is available to all iPhone 14 users and is free to use for two years. Apple hasn’t yet given details on how much it will cost going forward.
Satellite connectivity is currently available in North America and will soon be extended to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK.