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.
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.
My brother’s girlfriend’s cousin and his family were caught in their vehicle in Maui while the wildfires suddenly erupted around them.
No cell service, so Apple Emergency SOS was the only way they could get in contact with first responders. Literally saved their lives. pic.twitter.com/PpxNwTGOAf
— Michael J. Miraflor (@michaelmiraflor) August 10, 2023
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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