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A recent crash on Mt. Wilson Road sent a man down to a 400-foot-deep cliff, but rescue was instantly initiated after the victim’s iPhone 14 called for help using the combination of its Crash Detection feature and Emergency SOS Satellite service. According to first responders, locating the man would have been hard without the location info sent by the device, with the rescue leader noting, “It was basically his phone on its own, calling for help on his behalf.”
CBS Los Angeles reported the rescue mission conducted by the Crescenta Valley Station of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. According to the report, the crash effectively triggered the Crash Detection in the man’s iPhone 14 device. The feature is programmed to ask the user to confirm the crash within 20 seconds and will contact first responders and emergency contacts if the user fails to cancel the notification. In the case of the man, the iPhone 14 device reportedly attempted to call for help but failed due to the remote location of the crash. Nonetheless, the device resorted to using Apple’s Emergency SOS Satellite service to send a message to the Apple relay center, which then called the responders.
The message sent by the device using the Emergency SOS Satellite included the man’s location, allowing the responders to quickly find the man last Friday. The Montrose Search and Rescue teams said that when they arrived, they heard the bleeding man calling for help and rescued him using a helicopter.
“He was 400 feet down in a canyon with virtually no way out,” said Steve Goldsworthy, the Rescue Operations Leader of Montrose Search and Rescue. “So, who knows when, or if, we would’ve located him. “The location that we got from the iPhone activation was spot on. It was basically his phone on its own, calling for help on his behalf.”
This is not the first time Apple’s iPhone 14 features saved users from danger. In June, a hiker with a broken leg used the Emergency Satellite SOS to call for help during a hike in Tujunga, California. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations performed the rescue mission using a helicopter to hoist the victim. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department shared that it was the third rescue it had done this year with the help of the feature.
On the other hand, this is one of the cases boosting the image of Apple’s Crash Detection feature. It was initially seen as a problem by some after reports of false alarms, which translated to issues among first responders. Nonetheless, Apple believes that the feature can be an “invaluable resource” for responders in the future, and this seems to be the start of this vision.