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October 4, 2023


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Apple iPhone 14 SOS feature saves man’s life in Alaska, rescuers impressed

2 min read

Apple introduced the emergency SOS satellite feature with iPhone 14 series. The feature went live in the US and Canada a few weeks back. Now, a man is crediting the emergency feature to save his life when he found himself stranded in the mountains of Alaska.

First reported by MacRumours, a man traveling from Noorvik to Kotzebue in Alaska got stranded in a cold, remote location on December 1, 2022 when his snowmobile went down. Thankfully, he was an iPhone user and was carrying the iPhone 14 then. He activated the emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14. Apple’s Emergency Response Center then altered the search and rescue department and shared his GPS coordinates shared by iPhone 14.

On receiving the alert, Alaska State Troopers worked with the local search and rescue teams and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator to rescue the stranded man. He was eventually rescued without any injuries. What is impressive here is that Apple satellite feature was not supposed to work in the area where he was located as it was on the fringes of where satellite connectivity is available. According to Apple, satellite connectivity might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska. Noorvik and Kotzebue, where the man was stranded, are close to 69° latitude.

The team of rescuers later said that they were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of information included in the initial alert,” sent by the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on iPhone 14. Here’s a note of the dispatch shared by Alaska Department of Public Safety, State Troopers on its website:

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.

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