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iPhone 14 Emergency SOS Satellite Messaging feature records first rescue

If Apple was dreaming up the perfect advertisement for the iPhone 14‘s new emergency satellite messaging feature, it might be well be the rescue of a snowmobiler in Alaska.

In what’s believed to be the first documented use of the feature, which has resulted in an actual rescue, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said State Troopers received the message at 2:00am and jumped into action.

The alert came from the Apple Emergency Response Center (something we didn’t know existed until this moment), enabling search and rescue teams to zero in on the stranded fellow’s precise GPS co-ordinates. The snowmobiler was safe and unharmed.

According to a report from MacRumors, the troopers were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of 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 the emergency services via the Globalstar satellite network.

The State of Alaska Department of Public Safety reports:

On December 1, 2022, at around 2:00 am, the Alaska State Troopers were notified that an adult male traveling via snowmachine from Noorvik to Kotzebue had activated an Apple iPhone Emergency SOS via satellite on his iPhone after becoming stranded.

Working with local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center, and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator, the NWAB SAR deployed four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area 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. There were no injuries reported to Troopers.

Alaska Department of Public Safety

Emergency SOS Satellite Messaging is currently available in the United States and Canada, and will roll out in the UK later this month.

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