Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Family Caught in Maui Wildfires

The iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature played an important role in the rescue of a family in Maui that became trapped by the wildfires spreading across the region.

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT
Twitter user Michael Miraflor said that five people related to his brother's girlfriend were caught in a vehicle in Maui after the wildfires surrounded them. There was no cell service available at their location, so they used Emergency SOS to communicate with first responders.

Miraflor shared a screenshot of the entire Emergency SOS text chain, giving us a look at the local fire department and dispatchers in action. The family was located at the Outlets of Maui, a shopping mall in Lahaina where the fires are located.

In the text thread, the family's location is relayed to the dispatcher, and they're able to communicate that they are surrounded by fire with no visibility and no way out due to blocked roads. Within 30 minutes, fire crews were able to reach the family and safely evacuated them thanks to the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature.

The wildfires in Hawaii have been devastating, resulting in the deaths of at least 36 people. Strong winds have been driving the fires, and the town of Lahaina, where the family was trapped, was largely destroyed.

Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is available across all ‌iPhone 14‌ models, and it has so far been responsible for saving multiple lives and getting people in remote locations help. Emergency SOS via Satellite is available in areas where there is no WiFi or no cellular connectivity, and so far, Apple has made it available as a free service.

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Top Rated Comments

mattopotamus Avatar
12 months ago
That's pretty freaking amazing.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
killawat Avatar
12 months ago
Incredible. A bunch of cell towers are down obviously, and 911 stopped working as of yesterday.

I imagine we'll see stories like this in WWDC '24. Not downplaying the situation at all, but Apple deserves some credit here. Satellite based comms for the masses, no special hardware required.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
12 months ago
Wow! Remarkable. Let's all thank Apple for the Emergency SOS feature. Saving Lives over here! ?
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
12 months ago

Incredible. A bunch of cell towers are down obviously, and 911 stopped working as of yesterday.

I imagine we'll see stories like this in WWDC '24. Not downplaying the situation at all, but Apple deserves some credit here. Satellite based comms for the masses, no special hardware required.
Agreed! In addition, Apple needs to make the Emergency SOS feature FREE forever.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anappleaday29 Avatar
12 months ago
This has gone from what I believed to be just good PR to advertise for Apple, to a full-blown necessity to have in case of a dire emergency. This was incredible to read.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darth Tulhu Avatar
12 months ago
Anyone who referred to that feature as a gimmick should now eat their words with a healthy side of shut up.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)