Students trapped in a canyon in Utah were rescued by the Emergency SOS via Satellite on their iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is a tool that allows users to send a distress signal in emergency situations even when they are out of range of a cellular network. This feature uses satellite communication to send the distress signal and can potentially save lives in remote areas where there is no cellular coverage.
This feature helped save three stranded students who were dealing with hypothermia, and being stuck in a canyon.
According to 2KUTV, a group of students from Brigham Young University who had been canyoneering for a year decided to explore a canyon in the San Rafael Swell Recreation area as part of a pre-graduation trip. However, Bridger Woods encountered a difficult situation with deep, cold water.
While the party had done significant research on the canyon, the arrival at a deep pool caused issues. Jeremy Mumford stated that they believe the canyon was affected by the particularly wet winter in Utah, resulting in a more challenging situation than they were equipped to handle.
Mumford recounted that they had spent almost an hour attempting to lift their backpack onto a rock lip while in the deep pool. He stated that he had gone into hypothermic shock and was panicking, freezing up until two members of the group saw him and became worried. The party encountered another deep pool after continuing, but they were unable to reach the top to proceed.
Woods had already been in the cold water for almost three hours and was exhibiting signs of hypothermia. Woods explained that they reached a point where they could not extricate themselves and became stuck, with Jeremy positioned above the rappel. The rappel was about 10-15 feet and hung freely into the pothole. Fortunately, one of the group members, Stephen Watts, had an iPhone 14, and they were able to use Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature to send a distress signal for help by texting at intervals of around 20 minutes when a satellite aligned with their location within the canyon.
The crew managed to create loops on their ropes to increase grip and fasten their carabiners to exit the deep hole. Once they were out, they found a spot to sit, used emergency blankets, and started a fire while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
Upon seeing the helicopter, Woods admitted to crying and expressing gratitude for their rescuers, whom he described as “awesome people.” He expressed his gratitude and wished he could have met them under different circumstances.
The Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone 14 has helped save numerous lives, as it allows people to contact emergency services using a satellite connection. In January, two women used the feature to call for emergency services after getting stuck on an unplowed road in Canada. Similarly, in December, responders rescued a man who became lost in a remote area of Alaska, thanks to Emergency SOS.