Emergency SOS on iPhone saved snowboarder from crevasse

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A snowboarder has credited the iPhone for helping save his life, with its Emergency SOS function putting him in touch with emergency services after falling into a crevasse.

Keen snowboarder and personal trainer Tim Blakey was snowboarding on a glacier near Zermatt, Switzerland in March, but ran into trouble on one downhill run. On the fateful solo descent, at approximately 10,000 feet, he fell into a hidden crevasse in the snow.

His fall was stopped five meters (16 feet) down by a fragile snow bridge, limiting his movements and actions in trying to escape the predicament. On checking his iPhone to call for help, he saw its battery level was just 3%, giving him limited options for getting help, reports 7 News.

Facing minimal power, he remembered that he could call emergency services on the iPhone using the Emergency SOS feature, which can also send text messages of the iPhone's location to emergency contacts, as well as to emergency services.

Rescuers soon arrived and pulled Blakey from the gap, before taking him to the hospital for an injured ankle. That evening, he made it to his flight back to London on time.

In recounting the event on Instagram, the snowboarder thanks the rescue team, offering he was "still clueless" as to how to repay them. "Perhaps the first step is bringing awareness to the amazing job these guys do on the mountain and awareness to others to not be as careless as I was," he offers.

Blakey then goes on to thank Apple for "their side button 5 click to emergency services," which is "especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on." He also thanks his carrier "for giving me 3G connection and 3% battery 5m below the ice."

Emergency SOS is triggered on an iPhone by either pressing and holding the side button until the Emergency SOS slider appears then sliding it across, or holding down the side button and a volume control until the countdown timer elapses.

It is also available on the iPhone, which can be triggered the same way. The ease of setting off Emergency SOS can lead to unwanted calls, and in the case of one family in February, can allow mischievous children to place the calls.