Emergency SOS via Satellite Saves Students Trapped in Utah Canyon

The iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature last week saved a trio of students who went canyoneering in Utah and got stuck in an area with no cellular signal. Introduced last September, Emergency SOS via Satellite is designed to let ‌iPhone 14‌ users access satellite communications to get help in emergency situations.

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT
The students who were involved spoke to Utah's KUTV and described their dangerous ordeal. One of the students, Bridger Woods, said that the three had heard about a "pretty cool canyon" that they decided to check out because they had been canyoneering for approximately a year.

Inside the canyon, they encountered an area that had unexpectedly deep water, potentially caused by a wet winter in Utah. Woods and another student, Jeremy Mumford, were stuck in the pool for over an hour, but they ultimately were able to get out and continue deeper. They encountered another pool where the water was chest deep, and they could not get out.

Two of the students were experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, and because of the location of the canyon, there was no cellular signal, but the third student, Stephen Watts, had an ‌iPhone 14‌. According to Mumford, every 20 minutes, a "satellite would line up" to their location, and holding the phone up, they were able to get enough satellite signal to text 911.

While waiting for emergency services, the trio were able to leverage themselves out of the deep pool using rope and carabiners. With Woods going into hypothermic shock, they were still unable to get out of the 10 to 15 foot hole that they were in. Instead, they located driftwood and began a fire to warm up while emergency crews came to their rescue.

A helicopter crew from Salt Lake City arrived, as did paramedics from Arizona, and all three students were ultimately unharmed. The group told KUTV that they recommend taking a satellite phone on adventures in case of an emergency situation.

Emergency SOS via Satellite has already been used in several other life-threatening situations, including when an Alaskan man was stranded in the wilderness and when people were involved in a serious crash in the Angeles National Forest in California.

Emergency Satellite via SOS is available to all ‌‌iPhone 14‌‌ users in select countries, and it can be activated when an emergency situation occurs and there is no WiFi or cellular connection available. The feature is free to use for two years, and Apple has not yet provided detail on how much it will cost going forward.

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Top Rated Comments

Paddle1 Avatar
15 months ago

Fantastic! Well worth 1000's of false alarms if it results in lives saved...unless of course the resources for those false alarms are causing other people to die to the first responders being tied up. Seems Apple doing a good job of improving these services.
This feature doesn't have the false alarm problem, that's Crash Detection.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MallardDuck Avatar
15 months ago
Got stuck for over an hour then continued on...

iPhone 14 defeats Darwin.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
15 months ago
Wow! That's amazing! Literally a life-saving feature. Apple doesn't get enough credit for this.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
15 months ago

Inside the canyon, they encountered an area that had unexpectedly deep water, potentially caused by a wet winter in Utah. Woods and another student, Jeremy Mumford, were stuck in the pool for over an hour, but they ultimately were able to get out and continue deeper. They encountered another pool where the water was chest deep, and they could not get out.
?‍♂️ I guess getting stuck the first time for over an hour wasn't enough of a warning that they shouldn't be there.

"Hey, we've got an iPhone 14 with Emergency SOS via Satellite. Let's take another big risk and go even deeper into the canyon"
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
15 months ago

One of the students, Bridger Woods, said that the three had heard about a "pretty cool canyon" that they decided to check out because they had been canyoneering for approximately a year.
Now if only phones came with a high-tech feature to prevent making questionable choices. :p
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmr727 Avatar
15 months ago
Glad to hear everyone is safe!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)