Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature has been credited with saving the life of a stranded man in Alaska. The man, who was traveling by snow machine from Noorvik to Kotzebue, became stranded in a remote area with no cellular or WiFi connectivity.
He used the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to contact authorities, who were able to rescue him with the help of the satellite technology.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is designed to allow iPhone 14 users to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is 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 situation, 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 an alert from a man who had become stranded in a rural area. The man was in a cold, remote location with no connectivity, and he activated the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to alert authorities to his predicament.
Apple’s Emergency Response Center worked with local search and rescue teams and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator to send out volunteer searchers directly to the GPS coordinates that were relayed to Apple using the emergency function.
The Effectiveness of the Feature
The man was successfully rescued, and there were no injuries. Troopers who helped with the rescue were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of information included in the initial alert,” according to a statement from Apple.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is designed to ask several questions ahead of when an alert is sent out, in order to expedite rescue missions.
Availability and Cost
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is available to all iPhone 14 users, and it is free to use for two years. Apple has not yet provided details on how much it will cost going forward.
Satellite connectivity is currently available in North America, and it will soon expand to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.