Snowboarder Falls into 15-foot Crevasse, Helped Saved by iPhone Emergency SOS at Just 3% Battery

Tim Blakey snowboarder saved by iPhone Emergency SOS Credit: Tim Blakey / Instagram
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A British snowboarder has found out how handy it can be to have an iPhone along for the ride, even when engaging in extreme sports.

While we’d obviously recommend a really protective and rugged case if you’re going on an outdoor snowboarding adventure in the alps, Tim Blakey’s experience shows why you should never leave home without your iPhone in tow — and some extra battery power, too.

According to Britain’s LBC, Blakey was out snowboarding alone in the Alps, at an elevation of around 10,000 feet, when he fell into a 15-foot crevasse hidden beneath the snow.

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Thankfully, the snowboarder, who is also a personal trainer, landed on a “fragile snow bridge,” preventing him from plummeting all the way to the bottom.

Blakey had only a three percent charge left on his iPhone, but it was enough to allow him to successfully trigger the Emergency SOS feature by pressing his iPhone’s power button five times.

Despite this, it still took nearly 20 minutes before he could get hold of emergency services, and if Blakey hadn’t thought to bring along an extra battery pack, they might have had a much harder time finding him. Fortunately, he had one in his backpack, although he had to be very careful about retrieving it to avoid cracking the snow bridge that he had landed on.

I had a battery booster in my backpack and had to move very, very carefully to get it off and get it out.Tim Blakey

Blakey’s rescuers arrived after about 45 minutes, led by Swiss Rescue services volunteer Michael Schwarzl, who had received the text containing Blakey’s location. Schwarzl called for a helicopter to airlift Blakey to safety, after which he was taken to the hospital and released the same day with nothing more than an injured ankle ligament.

Schwarzl, an experienced mountain rescuer, said that Blakey was lucky to be alive and fortunate to have a cellular signal. “Three days later, I attended a similar rescue nearby, but the person fell 100ft and died,” the rescuer added.

Following the incident, Blakey shared his experience on Instagram to help bring awareness to the wonderful job that Swiss Rescue services do and his own foolishness in snowboarding solo.

Never solo again. No matter how experienced you think you are, it is no joke. I was lured into a false sense of security which also led me to be very blasé about researching the areas I snowboard.Tim Blakey

Blakey also had high praise for Apple and the company’s forethought in creating the Emergency SOS feature in the first place.

The last thank you to @apple, their side button 5 click to emergency services -especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on, & to the service provider for giving me 3G connection and 3% battery 5m below the ice

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