The new Satellite Emergency SOS feature for iPhone 14 users has only been available for a month, but we are already seeing stories emerge showing the power of this feature. Now first responders in California are crediting Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection by helping them perform an incredible rescue in the Angeles National Forest.
According law enforcement and first responders, a car with two passengers left Angeles Forest Highway in the Angeles National Forest and plummeted 300 feet into the canyon. One of the passengers’ iPhone 14 recorded this crash thanks to the new crash detection feature.
In the canyon, passengers had no cell phone service, which is where the satellite emergency SOS comes into the equation. After the iPhone 14 recorded the crash, the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity feature kicked in to connect victims to first responders. The iPhone 14 was connected to one of Apple’s new relay centers, and that relay center then communicated the situation to first responders.
The iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity feature relayed accurate latitude and longitude data, and first responders and rescue teams were dispatched. Using a helicopter, the rescue team was able to hoist the victims out of the canyon and transport them to a local hospital.
This situation occurred yesterday, when described by Montrose Search and Rescue Team on Twitter.
This afternoon around 1:55 p.m. @CVLASD received a call from Apple’s emergency satellite service. The informant and another victim had been involved in a single-vehicle crash on Angeles Forest Road near Mile 18.87, Angeles Forest.
Their vehicle had left the side of the mountain, about 300′ away. They were in a remote canyon with no cell phone service. The victims were able to get out of the car. Thanks to the emergency satellite service of their iPhone 14, they were able to communicate by SMS with a relay center. The center contacted our station which dispatched us, @LACOFD, patrol units, and @SEBLASD Air Rescue 5.
The call center gave us an accurate latitude and longitude for the victims. Air Rescue 5 was able to locate the victims and insert a paramedic. The paramedic was told the patients, a man and a woman in their 20s, had minor to moderate injuries. The helicopter was able to hoist the victims out of the canyon and transport them to a local hospital.
First responders also shared video footage of the rescue on Twitter, and it’s pretty amazing:
This is an incredibly impressive use of Apple’s two latest security features for iPhone 14 users. even more impressive to see the two features working together. In fact, I didn’t even know that the two features could work together.
In its support document for Crash Detection on iPhone 14, Apple specifies that this is indeed possible:
If you have an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro, collision detection notifications to emergency services may be communicated by Emergency SOS via the satellite system when you are outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, where satellite emergency SOS is available.
We’ve already seen a few stories of life-saving satellite collision detection and emergency SOS, and the features have only been available since this fall. We expect stories like this to continue, but whether we’ll ever see one as impressive as this remains to be seen.
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