Emergency SOS praised via satellite after vehicle plunges into California canyon

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Apple’s new Emergency SOS via satellite feature for iPhone 14 models, which allows users to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messages to be sent to emergency services beyond cellular range and Wi-Fi coverage, has been praised for helping rescue of occupants of a vehicle that fell about 300 feet into a remote canyon in California.

The Montrose Search & Rescue Team took to Twitter on Wednesday to share how the Emergency SOS via satellite function alerted authorities to the incident, which saw a vehicle plunge off the side of a mountain. The victims were in a remote ravine with no cell phone service and used Emergency SOS via satellite to notify first responders of their location.

Using Emergency SOS via satellite, the driver and passenger were able to send a text message via satellite to one of Apple’s relay centers, which contacted the LA County Sheriff’s Department to notify them of the unfolding emergency and to start the search and rescue mission.

With Satellite Emergency SOS, iPhone loads essential questions in the foreground to assess the user’s situation and shows where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then routed to centers of Apple-trained specialists who can request assistance on behalf of the user.

Every model in the iPhone 14 lineup – iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – supports Satellite Emergency SOS in supported countries and regions, with the service available to users in the US, Canada, France , Germany, Ireland and the UK.

Emergency SOS via satellite was recently recognized for rescuing a man stranded during a snow machine trip in Alaska during the early hours where it got stuck, out of range of regular cell service.