Emergency SOS via satellite praised after vehicle plunges into canyon in California
Apple’s new Emergency SOS via satellite feature for iPhone 14 models, which allows users to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, has been praised for helping aid the rescue of occupants of a vehicle that fell approximately 300 feet into a remote canyon in California.
The Montrose Search & Rescue Team took to Twitter on Wednesday to share how the Emergency SOS via satellite feature alerted authorities of the incident, which saw a vehicle plunge off the side of a mountain. The casualties were in a remote canyon with no cellular phone service, and used Emergency SOS via satellite to alert first responders of their location.
Using Emergency SOS via satellite, the driver and passenger were able to send a text message via satellite to one of Apple’s relay centers, which contacted the LA County Sheriff’s department to notify them of the unfolding emergency and to begin the search and rescue mission.
With Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.
Deputies, Fire Notified of Vehicle Over the Side Via iPhone Emergency Satellite Service
This afternoon at approximately 1:55 PM, @CVLASD received a call from the Apple emergency satellite service. The informant and another victim had been involved in a single vehicle accident pic.twitter.com/tFWGMU5h3V
— Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.) (@MontroseSAR) December 14, 2022
Every model in the iPhone 14 lineup — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — supports Emergency SOS via satellite in supported countries and regions, with the service available to users in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.
Emergency SOS via satellite was recently acknowledged for saving a man who became stranded when travelling by snow machine in Alaska during the early hours where he became stuck, out of reach of regular cellular service.