In brief: We’ve heard plenty of stories about the Apple Watch’s health-monitoring capabilities saving wearers’ lives, but this time it was the Emergency SOS feature that stopped someone from dying after they fell through ice.
William Rogers has reportedly been teaching people to ice skate all his life, but while skating on Salmon Falls River in Somersworth, New Hampshire, the ice broke, plunging him into the freezing waters below.
“It was just that terrible feeling. ‘Oh my God. I’m going in the water,'” Rogers told WMUR. He struggled in the water for several minutes trying to escape, but every time the teacher started dragging himself out of the hole, more ice broke underneath him.
Hypothermia began to set in after several minutes. “I remember telling myself, ‘OK, don’t panic. Don’t panic. Figure out what your options are here,'” Rogers said. Unable to reach his phone, he remembered that he was wearing an Apple Watch.
Rogers used the wearable to call 911. “I told them that I probably had 10 minutes before I was not gonna be able to respond anymore.” Luckily, it only took five minutes for the firefighters to arrive and rescue him from what would have likely been a fatal accident.
The Apple Watch’s Emergency SOS feature automatically calls local emergency services and shares a user’s location. It’s activated if a wearer has a sudden fall and remains immobile for one minute, or by holding down the side button.