Apple Watch saves hikers by calling 911 after mountain fall

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James Prudenciano slid down a cliff and was rescued when his watch called emergency services.

James Prudenciano, 28, and his partner are “avid hikers”, so they didn’t think anything of tackling a challenging mountain trail on 14 October at Hartshorne Woods Park in Monmouth County, he told NBC New York.

But the two sensed they were in trouble when they realised they were lost and the sun was starting to set.

First Mr Prudenciano’s friend slipped on thorny vines that she couldn’t climb back over because of a steep incline. He went to rescue her, but the two saw the mountain was too steep to climb up or down, but they tried for two hours to find a way to safety.

Mr Prudenciano had lost his shoe so he suggested they sit and slide down the mountain, as he had been trained. They both ended up sliding farther than they thought they would, landing hard on different parts of a ledge.

Three agencies responded, according to Middletown Police. The hikers were brought to safety by a civilian boater who offered to help.

Mr Prudenciano suffered a fractured back and injuries to his leg and foot, while his date sustained minor injuries, according to NBC New York. Police said they fell about 30ft (nine metres).

Mr Prudenciano said he had recently bought the watch and was playing with the settings when he decided to turn on the fall detection feature.

According to Apple, if the Apple Watches Series 4 or later detects a hard fall, it will ask the wearer if they would like to contact emergency services. If there is no response and the watch detects the person wearing it has been immobile for a minute, the watch will call emergency services and the person’s emergency contacts automatically, sending a location.

The feature can be set up by opening the Apple Watch app, choosing My Watch, Emergency Service SOS and then turning Fall Detection on.

Fall Detection is automatically activated for Apple Watch users who indicate their age is 65 or over.

Credit: Sky news

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