With the release of the iPhone 14, Apple introduced the Emergency SOS via Satellite function, which has already saved lives. Three Brigham Young University students utilized the function to call for assistance this past weekend after becoming lost while exploring the canyons of the San Rafael Swell Recreation area in Utah.
According to KUTV, the kids were canyoneering when they became stuck in deep water and couldn’t get out for several hours, which caused hypothermic shock to start to set in. The gang was unable to use standard cellular data to call for assistance due to their location in a rural area. Fortunately, one of the students, Stephen Watts, had an iPhone 14 and was able to text authorities and provide their location by using the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature.
According to Jeremy Mumford, one of the other students, “the canyon was about 500 feet deep with sheer, rock walls, but about every 20 minutes a satellite would line up where we were in the canyon and, by holding the phone up, we could get a signal where we could text 911 to Emery County.” The trio was quickly rescued thanks to the iPhone 14, perhaps sparing their lives.
The three students had, in a responsible manner, instructed an emergency contact to call for assistance if they hadn’t heard from them by 9 p.m. However, by the time they were rescued, they had been submerged for a number of hours and it’s possible that their emergency contact would have been too late and that their lives might have been in grave danger had it not been for the iPhone.
The students’ tale, as well as the countless more that will undoubtedly emerge as the Emergency SOS via Satellite function spreads, is a terrific reminder that being up to date with technology can occasionally make all the difference in emergency situations. Since Emergency SOS via Satellite is only available on the iPhone 14 line, its reach is still somewhat constrained. However, as more people start purchasing the iPhone 14 and subsequent models as they become available, it appears that it may develop into a safety feature that we’ll look back on and wonder how we ever survived without.