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Call with Apple Watch Series 3 saves kitesurfer from shark-infested waters

After a nasty crash with a landing in a great white shark nursery area, a kite surfer used his Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE to summon rescuers, and direct them to his location.




According to an account published by the Daily Mail kite surfer John Zilles had been using a hydrofoil and crashed in the shark-infested waters. He was unable to get the hydrofoil and kite attachment back together after the crash, stranding him a mile off shore.

"I was out learning to foil on a light wind, and was cruising along, proud of myself, and realized I was quite a way offshore," said Zilles. "As I was swimming away, my kite fell down, and because it was a calm day so I couldn't get it to fly again. Suddenly I was a mile offshore and my ride was over."

Zilles commenced his swim that he originally thought would be only an hour —but first called his children to tell them that he was going to be delayed. After the first call, he called his son back to send the number of the Ventura, Calif. harbor patrol.

After a case of mistaken identity where Zilles kicked his gear and thought it was a shark, and the realization that he wasn't making much progress in the swim, he called the harbor patrol. Shortly thereafter, he spotted the rescue boat, and vectored it to his position.

"I've seen people put phones in waterproof cases but, didn't want to risk it - so when the Watch came out I thought this is awesome, I should do it.," said Zilles. "My wife was giving me a hard time, for buying more technology, but I leave my phone at home a lot now —I think it's freeing us from the addiction of phones."

Zilles contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook about the matter. Reportedly, Cook sent back a response saying that he was "happy to hear you are safe."