Two people who crashed car off remote canyon saved thanks to iPhone satellite SOS

Angeles National Forest, California, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

Two people who crashed their car approximately 250ft down a canyon in California were saved after summoning help via Apple's new Emergency SOS satellite service.

The accident happened in the early afternoon on December 14, while the pair were driving in Angeles National Forest. They were able to escape from the crashed car, but had suffered some injuries and found they had no cellular connectivity to call emergency services.

However, they had an iPhone 14, which detected the crash and allowed them to contact rescuers via the new Emergency SOS service. This works in the same way as a satellite communicator like a Garmin inReach device, putting people in contact with a centralized emergency response center that can then liaise with emergency service.

"This afternoon at approximately 1:55 PM, received a call from the Apple emergency satellite service," wrote Montrose Search and Rescue Team in a tweet. The team included a video showing one of the pair being winched to safety via helicopter (embedded below).

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"Rescue 5 was able to locate the victims and insert a paramedic. The paramedic learned the patients, a male and female in their 20s, had mild to moderate injuries. The helicopter was able to hoist the victims out of the canyon and transport them to a local area hospital."

Although it only launched in November, Emergency SOS has already helped save several people stranded in remote areas, including a man who got stuck in the Alaskan wilderness when his snowmobile broke down.

As MacRumors reports, the service was initially only available in the US and Canada, but this week also rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, and Ireland. It is free to use for two years, but the company hasn't yet announced details of pricing after the introductory period.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 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), usually wearing at least two sports watches.