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iPhone 14 emergency satellite messaging feature SOS records first rescue

If Apple came up with the perfect ad for the iPhone 14’s new satellite emergency messaging feature, it could very well be an Alaska snowmobile rescue.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety said this was the first documented use of this feature that resulted in an actual rescue. The State Troopers received the message at 2:00 a.m. and went into action.

The alert came from Apple’s Emergency Response Center (something we didn’t know about until this point), allowing search and rescue teams to pinpoint the stranded person’s precise GPS coordinates. The snowmobile remained intact and unharmed.

According to a report from MacRumors, the military personnel were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of the information included in the initial alert.” The feature works by asking the iPhone 14 owner a series of questions about their predicament before sending a compressed message to emergency services via the Globalstar satellite network.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety says:

On December 1, 2022, around 2 a.m., Alaska State Troopers were notified that an adult male traveling by snowmobile from Nurvik to Kotzebue activated the Apple iPhone emergency SOS via satellite on his iPhone after being stranded.

Working with local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center and the Arctic Northwest Search and Rescue Coordinator, SAR NWAB deployed four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly using GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center.

An adult male was located and taken to Kotzebue by a search party of volunteers. The security forces have not reported any casualties.

Alaska Department of Public Safety

The SOS satellite emergency service is currently available in the US and Canada, with a rollout in the UK later this month.

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