If Apple dreamed up the perfect ad for iPhone 14A new feature of emergency satellite messages may be the rescue of a snowmobile in Alaska.
In what is believed to be the first documented use of the feature that resulted in an actual rescue, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said state troopers were notified at 2:00 a.m. and sprung into action.
The alert came from Apple’s Emergency Response Center (something we didn’t know existed until now), allowing search and rescue teams to determine the exact GPS coordinates of the stranded person. The snowmobile was safe and sound.
According to a report from MacRumors, the military was “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of the information included in the initial alert.” The feature works by asking the iPhone 14 owner a series of questions about their predicament before sending a compressed message to emergency services via Globalstar’s satellite network.
The Alaska Department of Public Safety reports:
On December 1, 2022, around 2:00 a.m., the Alaska State Police received a report that an adult male snowmobile from Nurvik to Kotzebue had activated an Apple iPhone satellite emergency call on his iPhone after becoming stranded.
Working with local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center and the Northwest Arctic Search and Rescue Coordinator, NWAB SAR dispatched four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly using GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center.
An adult man was found and taken to Kotseba by a volunteer search team. There are no reports of casualties among paratroopers.
Satellite emergency SOS messaging is now available in the United States and Canada and will continue roll out in the UK later this month.