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Apple Watch saves the life of a 'lucky' kayaker swept out to sea

Apple Watch Series 7 Hero Underwater Apple
Apple Watch Series 7 Hero Underwater Apple (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • An Apple Watch is being credited with helping save the life of a kayaker who got swept out to sea.
  • The kayaker was able to summon help using his Apple Watch.
  • A helicopter rescue saved the man who was unable to get back to shore.

A kayaker who got into trouble off Sidney, Australia's north shore is said to be lucky to be alive after using his Apple Watch to call for help. The man found himself swept out to sea by strong currents after being separated from a partner.

The story goes that the man was swept out to sea by "large swell and strong winds" and was unable to get back to shore under his own steam. The quick-thinker was saved after he was able to call for help using his Apple Watch, although the Mail Online report doesn't explain whether that was a traditional phone call or Apple Watch's SOS functionality.

A search for the kayak was immediately launched with NSW Police Marine Area Command calling Surf Lifesaving NSW and the Westpac rescue helicopter.

The report notes that "lifeguards and Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club also assisted by deploying jetskis and inflatable rescue boats," with the man rescued after the helicopter spied his bright orange kayak from the skies.

Helicopter rescuer Nick Pavlakis said the man was "lucky he had [a] connection on his device to make that desperate call for help," according to local reports.

Apple Watches have of course proven useful for saving lives on many occasions over the years, often by automatically calling for help when a wearer takes a tumble. Fall Detection is one of the best Apple Watch features that a lot of people don't give enough credit to, but the ability to call for help and even make phone calls can also be extremely handy in a sticky situation.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.