In yet another incident, Apple Watch came to the rescue of its owner, who was swept 4 km into the sea by strong currents by sending an emergency SOS alert.
The incident took place on the northeast coast of Sydney, Australia. A kayaker from New South Wales (NSW) went kayaking early Saturday morning with another male companion from Balmoral.
Separated from its partner, the NSW kayaker eventually drifted nearly 2.5 miles (almost 2.5 miles) offshore due to strong currents and was unable to paddle back to shore due to the force of the strong winds.
Fortunately for him, since he was wearing his Apple Watch, he was able to immediately send a signal for help by activating the emergency SOS function. For the inexperienced users, when the users call with Emergency SOS, their Apple Watch will automatically call the local emergency services in their area and share the location of the users with them.
According to DailyMail.com, a search for the kayak was immediately launched with the NSW Police Marine Area Command calling Surf Lifesaving NSW and the Westpac rescue helicopter. They were also assisted by Manly lifeguards and the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club who deploy jet skis and inflatable rescue boats.
The rescue helicopter then spotted the bright orange kayak nearly 2.5 miles (4 km) into the sea with the extremely exhausted kayaker. At this point, the kayak was already leaking water and it would be only a matter of time before the man floated on the ocean alone.
The helicopter rescue crew said he was very lucky to be alive and his Apple Watch had a signal.
“He fell out of his kayak and had absorbed quite a bit of water. He was lucky to have (a) connection on his device to make that desperate call for help,” said Nick Pavlakis, one of the men in the helicopter used in the rescue.
The unnamed victim was placed aboard a Westpac rescue helicopter just before 9:30 am and flown to a sports field where paramedics were waiting. His kayak was recovered by Manly’s lifeguards and returned to shore.
The kayaker showed signs of fatigue and mild hypothermia, but refused further medical attention when the helicopter landed on the shore.
The rescue team continued to look for the man’s partner, but later called off the search when NSW police reached him by phone and determined that he had already returned safely to shore earlier in the day.
This isn’t the first time Apple Watch has been credited with being a lifesaver. In one such case, the device saved the life of a 25-year-old young man after he passed out during a visit in July 2021 and fell into the toilet of the hospital’s emergency room. Fortunately, the fall detection feature in his Apple Watch discovered an impact and then alerted his father who had accompanied him on this visit.