iPhone SOS Feature Saves Stranded Travelers in Colorado

A group of travelers who got stranded in a snowstorm in Colorado were able to call for help using their iPhone’s SOS feature, which connects to emergency services via satellite.

How the SOS feature works

The SOS feature is a new function that was introduced in the iPhone 14, which was released in September 2023. It allows users to make an emergency call even when there is no cellular service or Wi-Fi available. The feature uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS and satellite modem to locate the nearest emergency center and send a distress signal.

To activate the SOS feature, users need to press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the SOS slider appears. Then, they can either drag the slider to call emergency services or keep holding the buttons until a countdown begins and an alert sounds. If the user continues to hold the buttons until the end of the countdown, the iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number.

What happened to the stranded travelers

The group of travelers, who were on their way to Denver from Grand Junction, got stuck in a blizzard on Interstate 70 near Vail on December 28, 2023. The snowstorm caused multiple accidents and road closures, leaving the travelers stranded in their cars for hours. They had no food, water, or blankets, and their phones had no service.

iPhone SOS

One of the travelers, Jessica Smith, remembered that she had an iPhone 14 with the SOS feature. She decided to try it out and was surprised when it worked. She was able to contact the Colorado State Patrol, who dispatched a rescue team to their location.

The rescue team arrived after about an hour and helped the travelers get out of their cars and into a nearby shelter. They also provided them with food, water, and medical attention. The travelers were grateful for the SOS feature and the rescue team, and said they would never travel without an iPhone again.

The benefits and limitations of the SOS feature

The SOS feature is a lifesaving tool that can help people in emergency situations, especially in remote areas where there is no cellular service or Wi-Fi. It can also send the user’s location and medical information to the emergency center, which can speed up the response and treatment.

However, the SOS feature also has some limitations. It depends on the availability of satellites, which may not always be in range or have a clear signal. It also consumes a lot of battery power, which may drain the iPhone quickly. Therefore, users should only use the SOS feature when they have no other option and when they are in a life-threatening situation.

The SOS feature is not a substitute for proper planning and preparation when traveling. Travelers should always check the weather and road conditions before they leave, and carry emergency supplies such as food, water, blankets, flashlights, and chargers. They should also inform someone of their travel plans and expected arrival time, and stay in touch with them as much as possible.

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