Man stranded in Alaskan wilderness saved thanks to Apple's new satellite SOS

Man using phone in snowy conditions
(Image credit: Getty)

A man who became stranded in the Alaskan wilderness while snowmobiling was saved after using Apple's new satellite SOS system. The Emergency SOS (opens in new tab) service became available for iPhone 14 handsets in the US and Canada last month, and is intended to help people summon help in areas with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

As PhoneArena (opens in new tab) explains, the man became stuck on December 1 while travelling from Noorvik to Kotzebue alone. After becoming stranded, be activated the SOS on his phone, and Apple's Emergency Response Center was able to coordinate with local emergency services to send rescue teams out to find him.

"The adult male was located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team," said the Alaska Department of Public Safety in a statement (opens in new tab). "There were no injuries reported to troopers,"

Much like Garmin's inReach system, Apple Emergency SOS lets you contact a central control room, which can liaise with local rescue services to provide assistance if you can't make the call yourself.

You can activate the SOS by either holding the power and volume buttons, or pressing the power button five times in quick succession. You will then be asked a few quick questions to help responders get you the right type of help.

Once that's complete, a graphic on the phone's screen will show you where to point it in order to establish a satellite connection and transmit your emergency message. Apple advises that it's likely to longer than sending a regular SMS, but text messages are compressed to make the process as fast as possible.

Apple Emergency SOS on an iPhone 14

(Image credit: Apple)

You can also use the satellite connectivity to give friends and family peace of mind by sending them your location using the Find My app.

Emergency SOS is currently only available in the US and Canada, but is due to roll out in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK later this month.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).