May 18, 2024

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Emergency SOS via satellite rescues students trapped in Utah Canyon

Emergency SOS via satellite rescues students trapped in Utah Canyon

Last week, the iPhone 14’s satellite emergency SOS feature saved three students who went kayaking in Utah and got stuck in an area with no cellular signal. Launched last September, the satellite emergency SOS service is designed to allow iPhone 14‌ users to access satellite communications for emergency assistance.


Students who participated spoke to Utah KUTV (via Camel) and described their grave ordeal. One of the students, Bridger Woods, said the three had heard about “a very cool ravine” that they decided to check out because they had been kayaking for about a year.

Within the canyon, they encountered an area of ​​unexpectedly deep water, possibly due to the wet winters in Utah. Woods and another student, Jeremy Mumford, were stuck in the pool for over an hour, but eventually managed to get out and continue to the deep. They encountered another pond where the water was deep, and they were unable to get out.

Two of the students had symptoms of hypothermia, and because of the valley location, there was no cellular signal, but the third student, Stephen Watts, had an iPhone 14‌. According to Mumford, every 20 minutes, a satellite would “line up” to their location, and holding up the phone, they were able to get enough satellite signal to text 911.

While waiting for emergency services, the trio was able to tap into the deep pool using ropes and carabiners. With Woods going into hypothermic shock, they still couldn’t get out of the hole they were 10 to 15 feet in. Instead, they located driftwood and started a fire to keep warm while emergency crews came to the rescue.

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A helicopter crew arrived from Salt Lake City, as well as paramedics from Arizona, and the three students were ultimately unharmed. said the group KUTV They recommend taking a satellite phone on adventures in case of an emergency.

Emergency SOS via satellite has already been used in many other life-threatening situations, including when an Alaskan man was stranded in the wilderness and when people were involved in a serious crash in California’s Angeles National Forest.

Emergency Satellite via SOS is available to all iPhone 14‌‌ users in select countries, and can be activated when an emergency situation occurs and no WiFi or cellular connectivity is available. The feature is free to use for two years, and Apple hasn’t yet provided details on how much it will cost going forward.