iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via satellite feature saves man stranded in Alaska

Apple iPhone satellite locator
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via satellite feature was launched last month and, according to a new report, it has already saved at least one person.

As reported by the Department of Public Safety, on December 1st around two o'clock in the morning, Alaskan State Troopers were notified that "an adult male traveling via snowmachine from Noorvik to Kotzebue had activated an Apple iPhone Emergency SOS via satellite on his iPhone after becoming stranded."

The NWAB SAR worked with Apple's Emergency Response Center and local search and rescue teams to send "four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center. The adult male was located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team."

Thankfully, the man was rescued safely without any injuries due to the iPhone feature and the team's quick response.

Emergency SOS via satellite launched last month

Emergency SOS via satellite is a new feature that is exclusive to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. The feature, which launched in the United States and Canada back in November, will be available to iPhone 14 owners for free for the first two years.

Emergency SOS via satellite "combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf."

On the same day that the feature launched, Apple revealed that Emergency SOS via satellite will expand to four new countries over the next few months.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.