TECH

Family trapped on Mount Hood rescued by satellite emergency services

High altitude combined with bad weather left a group of tourists stranded, but they were rescued within 24 hours thanks to SOS via Satellite for iPhone.

A family of hikers hiked from the Salmon River Trail to Mount Hood on Tuesday, eventually climbing eight miles to an elevation of 3,500 feet. Due to changing weather and lower temperatures, they used the emergency SOS feature via satellite to call for help.

According to a report from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the call for help came in at 7:30 p.m. Due to worsening conditions, the family was advised to shelter in place as rescuers attempted to reach them.

Ground crews on all-terrain vehicles were deployed, but due to changing conditions they were unable to arrive until 6 a.m. the next day. Rescuers found the group “cold, wet and dehydrated, but otherwise fine.”

There was still the problem of getting the group of four adults and two children back down the mountain. An attempt was made to rescue the helicopter, but it was unable to land due to weather conditions and terrain.

Another ground crew, this time in a Sheriff's Department Snowcat, left at 10 a.m. and reached the family and first responders several hours later due to the difficult terrain. The family and all staff were eventually transported back to the search and rescue command post at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 24 hours after the first SOS.

Satellite SOS debuted on iPhone 14 models and has saved many lives since its introduction. Text communication is limited due to low satellite capacity, but precise coordinates and other relevant information are automatically transmitted to authorities when this feature is activated.

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