Apple Watch helps rescue kayaker swept out to sea | Cult of Mac

Apple Watch helps rescue kayaker swept out to sea


Apple Watch has helped save plenty of lives.
Apple Watch has helped save plenty of lives.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

After strong currents swept an Australian kayaker more than two miles out to sea, he summoned help with the Emergency SOS feature of Apple Watch. That triggered his rescue by helicopter.

Apple Watch Emergency SOS call saves kayaker swept out to sea

On the morning of June 18, a kayaker from New South Wales found himself swept more than 2 miles out to sea off Sydney’s north coast. Separated from his partner and struggling against a strong current, he could not paddle back to shore.

A report in The Daily Mail indicated a hazardous surf warning in effect when the man ran into trouble.

Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to call for help using his Apple Watch’s Emergency SOS calling feature (click on that link for a how-to on using the feature).

Members of Surf Lifesaving NSW responding to a call from state law enforcement rescued the man. Taken aboard a Westpac rescue helicopter, the victim displayed signs of fatigue and mild hypothermia. But when the aircraft landed on the coast, he refused further medical attention.

One rescuer pointed out that the man was lucky he had his Apple Watch and that it had a signal.

New South Wales police determined that the man’s partner had returned to shore safely earlier in the day.

Apple Watch: lifesaver

This is far from the first time Apple Watch has received credit for helping save a user’s life. Between the Emergency SOS calling feature and the device’s hard-fall detection, quite a few potential tragedies have been averted.

To name a few instances:

  • In September 2019, a cyclist knocked unconscious in a bad crash woke up in an ambulance after his Apple Watch called 911.
  • In January 2021, a cyclist swept away in a raging torrent managed to call for rescue.
  • In March of this year, a woman’s Apple Watch called paramedics after she proved unresponsive following a hard fall — and in the hospital, doctors happened to discover her lung cancer for the first time.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.