iPhone and Apple watches calls emergency services if skiers stop “too” quickly

3rd January 2023

iPhone and Apple watches calls emergency services

Colorado’s State Summit Country 911 call centre is reporting being swamped by up to 100 automated calls from iPhones which are wrongly reporting its skiing owners have been in an accident on the ski slopes.

One of the features of the iPhone 14 and Apple watch 8 is a function designed to detect accidents. The phones and watches can detect if they stop abruptly, indicating for example that the phones owner had been in a car accident. Its believed skiers and boarders stopping quickly is activating phones into believing they have been involved in a accident.

The emergency services protocol is to call the phone if an accident is suspected but skiers aren’t hearing their phones ringing deep in their ski jacket pockets! This is resulting in rescuers being despatched to the phones last known location.

One of the features of an iPhone that skiers and snowboarders should know, is that by pressing the power button 5 times quickly, emergency services will be alerted including providing your exact GPS location. On the iPhone 14 it is done via satellites rather than needing a phone network.

In 2021 Tim Blakey was snowboarding alone, when he fell 15ft into a crevasse, injuring his ankle.

Luckily Tim remembered that by pressing the power button on his iPhone quickly 5 times sent an emergency message to rescuers, with his location. Luckily with just 3% battery life left, he was just in time and rescuers arrived by helicopter within 45 minutes.

In an Instagram post. Tim thanked his rescuers, iPhone for inventing the emergency call option and the phone network providers for saving his life and vowed to never snowboard alone again.