iPhone's Satellite SOS Emergency service helps two hikers get rescued in New Zealand
The Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone, which was originally seen as a life-saving innovation, has finally been put to use in our region. A pair of hikers were able to seek help by activating the Emergency SOS via Satellite on their iPhone 14, resulting in successful rescue by emergency services.
While trekking towards the northwest of Christchurch in the Arthurs Pass National Park, a pair of hikers encountered a hazardous scenario as the water level in the vicinity started to increase, making it perilous to traverse the river.
As they were outside of the regular mobile coverage area, they couldn't use their phone to call for emergency assistance. However, their iPhone 14 displayed a symbol indicating it was connected to a satellite, and they could use the Emergency SOS via Satellite function. This feature was introduced in Australia and New Zealand in May of this year, and enabled them to contact emergency services in their time of need.
By utilizing this facility, the pair had the ability to notify authorities of their situation, precise whereabouts, and receive confirmation that assistance was en route.
West Coast Air Rescue sent a helicopter to rescue the hikers, which arrived and lifted them to safety.
The Emergency SOS feature via Satellite is able to function even if a person experiences a crash or fall in an area where mobile coverage is unavailable, as stated by Simon Lyford, who is the Fire and Emergency Shift Manager. According to him, "The phones have the capability to detect a sudden impact and send a notification."
This feature is exclusive to Apple iPhones, and individuals must activate it. In case of an accident, the police will receive an automatic notification with a computer voice providing the exact coordinates of the crash.
Hikers who don't plan extended hikes and own an iPhone 14 have the option to rely on this service in case of emergencies. However, it should be noted that this service should not be considered as a substitute for using an EPIRB. An EPIRB is a radio beacon that helps find lost hikers and is suggested for anyone who takes hiking or trekking seriously.