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Captured on video: iPhone 14 helps rescue couple from 300-foot canyon drop

A true tale of technology and teamwork.

Published onDecember 15, 2022

Apple Emergency SOS via satellite field
  • Apple’s emergency satellite system has helped save a couple stranded in a remote canyon after a 300-foot fall.
  • The duo used an iPhone 14 to communicate with a relay center via text.
  • Search teams then found them using their exact latitude and longitude thanks to Apple’s Emergency SOS feature.

Apple’s Emergency SOS system is turning out to be quite a lifesaver. After rescuing a man in Alaska earlier this month, the satellite communication system has once again proven its worth by helping save a young couple after their car went off the side of a mountain and dropped 300 feet into a remote canyon on the Angeles Forest Highway in Angeles National Forest.

According to the Montrose Search and Rescue Team (Montrose SAR), the incident occurred on December 13 (h/t DigitalTrends). The victims used the Emergency SOS feature on an iPhone 14 to communicate with a relay center via text. The center then contacted and dispatched teams from Montrose SAR and LA Fire Department, additional patrol units, and an air rescue unit.

Deputies, Fire Notified of Vehicle Over the Side Via iPhone Emergency Satellite Service
This afternoon at approximately 1:55 PM, @CVLASD received a call from the Apple emergency satellite service. The informant and another victim had been involved in a single vehicle accident
— Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.) (@MontroseSAR) December 14, 2022

The call center gave the rescuers an accurate latitude and longitude for the victims. The couple was then found by the air rescue team and hoisted out of the canyon. They were transported to a local hospital and treated for moderate injuries. You can see videos of the search and rescue operations in the tweet thread above.

The new iPhones are the only handsets with an Emergency SOS via satellite feature. Samsung is also rumored to be working on a similar feature for the Galaxy S23 phones. Even T-Mobile is partnering with Starlink to enable a satellite communication system for subscribers. We hope to see the feature on more devices in the future because you never know when an unfortunate accident could end up trapping you in a no-network area. That rescued couple must certainly be thankful to have an iPhone 14 on that fated day.