iPhone’s Satellite SOS Rescues Man Stranded in Alaska

The Satellite Emergency SOS feature is designed to ask multiple questions before an alert is sent to speed up rescue missions (Picture: Apple)

Apple’s new Emergency SOS feature via satellite has proven useful, helping to rescue a man stranded in Alaska.

At approximately 2 a.m. on December 1, Alaska State Troopers received an alert that “a grown man traveling by snowmobile from Noorvik to Kotzebue had activated an Apple iPhone emergency SOS via satellite on his iPhone after being blocked”.

Working with local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator, four volunteer searchers were deployed directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center.

“The adult male was located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team. No injuries were reported to the soldiers,” the report said.

It was a matter of luck as the man was rescued from a remote location on the outskirts of where satellite connectivity was available.

iPhone satellite SOS

Apple’s new Emergency SOS feature via satellite has successfully proven to do what it promises, helping to rescue a man stranded in Alaska (Picture: Apple)

Apple had warned that satellite connectivity might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern Canada and Alaska, and Noorvik and Kotzebue are near 69° latitude.

The soldiers who assisted in the rescue were said to have been “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of the information included in the initial alert”.

The Satellite Emergency SOS feature is designed to ask multiple questions before an alert is sent to speed up rescue missions.

The new iPhone 14 security feature allows users to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity even when no cellular or WiFi connection is available.

In November, Apple rolled out the feature to all iPhone 14 models, for customers in the US and Canada.

Apple's SOS

The man was rescued from a remote location on the fringes of where satellite connectivity was available (Picture: Apple)

With the update, users can also reassure friends and family of their whereabouts when traveling off-grid, using the “Find My” app and sharing their location via satellite.

Although the feature is free for two years, Apple has yet to provide details on how much it will cost in the future.

Satellite Emergency SOS is currently available in the US and Canada and will arrive in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK this month.

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