A group of hikers stranded in Southern California used the iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature to alert responders to their location, according to police.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the missing group of 10 around 8pm on Friday evening.
Family members also contacted the police when the group failed to show up at the trailhead where the group embarked towards the “Last Chance” area of the Los Padres National Forest’s Santa Paula Canyon.
“These hikers were able to contact Ventura County Sheriff’s Dispatch through the Apple Emergency SOS feature and provided valuable information such as a possible location and if immediate medical aid was needed,” police wrote in a press release.
A team of volunteers from the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue unit hiked four miles at night in treacherous, low-visibility conditions and made contact with the missing hikers around 11.15pm.
“Most of the hikers were not prepared for the hike and were provided with food, drinking water and lighting equipment as they were led out to the Santa Paula Canyon Trailhead,” police wrote.
The party was returned to safety by 2.40am the following day.
None were injured or required medical attention.
In 2022, Apple debuted a version of the Emergency SOS feature that allows customers to use satellite connectivity to reach authorities even if they don’t have mobile reception.
Emergency SOS can be activated by holding the side button and one of the volume buttons on an iPhone.