Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature saves Utah students trapped in deep canyon

Published Apr 24th, 2023 1:59PM EDT
iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature
Image: Apple Inc.

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Last fall, the iPhone 14 introduced one of the most important features Apple has ever launched. Emergency SOS via Satellite lets you send messages or make calls with the help of a satellite if you don’t have a cellular connection.

This function has been available since November 2022, and since then, we have heard several stories of how this feature has saved people’s lives. A story shared by local news outlet KUTV (via AppleInsider) reveals how three BYU college students went for a hike in Emery County, Utah, and reached a deep pool about “500 feet deep of sheer, rock walls.”

The group said they had done a lot of research on the canyon, but when they reached one deep pool, the scenario was more complex than they were prepared for.

“We suspect that Utah’s extra wet winter changed the canyon somewhat, resulting in a much harder scenario than we were prepared for,” said Jeremy Mumford to 2News. “I went into hypothermic shock and started panicking and freezing up, and these two saw me and became very concerned.”

With that, the three students tried to use the satellite feature of their iPhone 14 models to ask for help. They said every 20 minutes, a satellite would line up where they were in the canyon, and by holding the phone up, they could get a signal to text 911 to Emery County.

KUTV reports that, eventually, the group was able to tie loops into their ropes to gain traction and clip their carabiners to get out of the deep slot. That said, two of the BYU students stayed trapped for nearly an hour trying to get out of the deep pool in the canyon.

“The county, the paramedics, all the way from Arizona to helicopter crews from Salt Lake City, we just want to give a huge thank you to all the people who pitched in to save us,” said Mumford.

iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal. The service is free for the first two years, and Apple will announce at a later date how much it will charge for the Emergency SOS via the Satellite feature.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.