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A pair of calls to the U.S. Coast Guard through Apple's Siri ultimately resulted in the rescue of a critically ill teenager in Texas, after the flooding encroached upon her home and forced the family to the roof.
The 14 year-old Tyler Frank suffers from sickle cell anemia. A crisis was induced from exposure to the flood water, and the shock of the event as a whole. After failed calls to 911 and pleas for help on Facebook, the teen turned to Siri to get help.
The family of five, including Frank's mother and three brothers fled to the roof in the early morning of August 27. Frank used Siri asking that the digital assistant "call the Coast Guard."
The first rescue helicopter arrived on August 28. Coast Guard service members assessed the situation, and informed the family that only the elderly were being taken at that time.
"Coast Guard first responders were faced with an overwhelming request for assistance due to Hurricane Harvey," the Coast Guard told CNN in a statement about the first encounter. "On-scene rescue crews made determinations based upon emergent factors (i.e. immediate, life-threatening situations) and the conditions faced on the scene."
Frank used Siri again to call the Coast Guard, which led to a rescue on the early morning of August 29.
Tyler was released from Texas Children's Hospital on Sept. 1. The family is now staying in a Super 8 hotel near Houston.
"Our car is gone; our house is gone; everything's gone," mother Tameko Frank said. "We have to start over."
Siri debuted in 2011 on the iPhone 4s with iOS 5. Siri's abilities have escalated with time, adding sport scores, restaurant reservations and movie showtimes in iOS 6. Wikipedia and Twitter searches were added with iOS 7. Apple added integrations with Apple Music and the Apple Watch when both products launched.