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iPhone 14’s satellite SOS and Crash Detection features lead to daring helicopter rescue

Updated 3 days ago
iPhone 14 Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

Every iPhone 14 comes with two incredibly useful safety features you’ll hopefully never have to use. The Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection features are available on all four models, whether you buy the cheapest iPhone 14 or the Pro Max variant.

We already saw controlled tests of Crash Detection and reports of rescuers arriving at the scene of an accident after the iPhone 14 placed a call automatically. Separately, an iPhone 14 owner used Emergency SOS via satellite a few days ago to contact first responders after becoming stranded in the snow.

Another daring rescue mission has just made the news. And the iPhone 14 was the critical piece of tech that made it possible. This time around, both Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite might have been involved in a rescue requiring helicopter support to lift two people out of a canyon.

A car with two passengers drove off Angeles Forest Highway in Angeles National Forest. It then plummeted 300 feet into the canyon. The iPhone 14 registered the event thanks to the new Crash Detection feature. Apple uses sensors and algorithms on the new iPhone 14 models to determine whether an iPhone 14 user has just been involved in a collision while in a car.

But the passengers had no cell service once in the canyon. They used the Emergency SOS via satellite feature to contact first responders and reach for help.

The Montrose Search and Rescue Team described the incident on Twitter, posting a video of the extraction. The rescuers identified the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity feature as the element that allowed the victims to reach out for help.

The two persons connected to a call center, which then forwarded the information to the search and rescue team. “The call center gave us an accurate latitude and longitude for the victims,” the Montrose team said on Twitter.

The rescuers sent a helicopter to find the victims, inserting a paramedic at the site of the crash. A male and female in their 20s who had been able to exit the car were waiting. They had mild to moderate injuries, according to the Twitter account.

The rescue helicopter hoisted the victims and transported them to a local hospital for care.

If it wasn’t clear by now, all iPhone 14 users should know how to use these security features. You can enable Crash Detection from the phone’s Emergency SOS menu.

Satellite connectivity is already available on the iPhone 14 if you’re in the US, Canada, and a few European countries. If that’s the case, you can already test it via the built-in demo tool to understand how it works. You never know when these features might save your life.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.