iPhone 14 helps save three people stranded in a water-filled canyon
The iPhone 14 and its advanced Emergency SOS via Satellite feature have helped to save three more lives, this time in a water-filled canyon in Utah.
Local news reports that three male students were canyoneering in “The Squeeze” in Emery County this past weekend when they got into difficulties. They were able to use an iPhone to summon help while lighting a fire to try and stay warm.
The trio was later rescued by helicopter; all three made a full recovery from their ordeal. And they were saved by one of the iPhone’s newest features.
A satellite connection every 20 minutes
KUTV and AppleInsider report that the three BYU students had done their homework about the area they were visiting but still found themselves unable to get to safety under their own steam. It’s thought that the wet weather had changed the canyon’s layout, rendering that homework useless.
That wasn’t enough to stop the iPhone 14 coming in clutch, however: Emergency SOS via Satellite (opens in new tab) works by lining up with a low-orbit satellite to relay a short text message to emergency responders. That message includes location data, and the students say that they managed to get a connection roughly every 20 minutes.
“The canyon was about 500 feet deep of 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 — and that definitely saved our butts,” described one of the students in an interview with KUTV.
The report says that the students first tried to make a phone call but were unable to. Emergency SOS via Satellite comes into its own when no cellular or Wi-Fi service is available, as appears to have been the case here.
You don’t need to buy Apple’s best iPhone to get this feature but you do need an iPhone 14 or newer. Apple is likely to announce the iPhone 15 in September and we can expect that device to offer the same capabilities — if not upgraded ones.