Apple Watch helps save woman swimming in river

The Apple Watch has been an excellent swim tracker since gaining stronger water resistance and water training with the Series 2 – the device has since evolved into an indispensable swimming buddy and a kind of lifeguard. That was what happened in Oregon last week when paramedics were able to rescue a trapped swimmer who called 911 from her Apple Watch.

Apple Watch SOS

A woman swimming in the Columbia River found herself trapped in 56-degree water when her foot was caught in rocks, according to a police report from Dalles, Oregon. Police say the woman was getting exhausted and showed signs of hypothermia when she was rescued.

“The swimmer said she had been trapped in the river for over 30 minutes and that she had made the emergency call from her Apple Watch,” the report says.

The Apple Watch includes an SOS feature that allows users to call emergency services by holding down the side button for a few seconds. SOS and phone calls require an Apple Watch that supports mobile networks and an active plan to operate without the user’s iPhone nearby.

Bold rescue

When first aiders arrived at the scene, they tried to give a ladder to the distressed swimmer while licking the stones apart that caught her foot. The rescue attempt failed.

Via the Dalles Police Department

“Officer Reams assessed the site and determined that the rescue of the swimmer should take place immediately and that he would only be able to assist with the rescue by going into the water to feel how the confinement occurred when the water was too turbid. and fast to allow any visible inspection from above, ”according to the police report.

“Officer Reams left his ballistic vest and duty belt on shore and walked gently in the water downstream of the swimmer,” the report continues. “Officer Reams reached underwater and was just able to reach the swimmer’s foot. Only Officer Reams’ head was not submerged. Officer Reams was able to free the swimmer’s stuck foot and bring her ashore and take care of the firefighters. “

9to5Mac’s Take

Newer iPhones are splash-repellent, but Apple Watches are rated for use under the swimming pool and open water. The likelihood of swimming with your iPhone intentionally is slim, and the clock’s form factor encourages use in such scenarios.

This story has a happy ending thanks to the Apple Watch being able to call 911, but it was still an extremely dangerous situation when first aiders arrived. Help was called later (or not at all), the incident could have ended very differently.

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