Mobile phone with very exciting news for sailors

Normally, Seilmagasinet does not write about the launch of the iPhone. The iPhone 14 which is launched today has a particularly interesting feature for sailors.

With iPhone 14 models, you can send emergency messages via satellite to emergency services when you’re out of mobile coverage. The feature is called “Emergency SOS”. Satellite messages will help you contact emergency services when no other means of reaching emergency services is available. If you call or text the emergency services and can’t get online because you’re out of range of your mobile, your iPhone will connect you via satellite to the help you need.

Must search for satellites

In ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon, sending a satellite message can take 15 seconds. Connection time depends on environment, message length and satellite network status and availability.

The new iPhone does not have an antenna adapted to the satellite. To establish contact with the satellites, an application is needed to help you point the mobile towards the satellites. The solution is therefore not as practical as InReach.

North America only

For sailors, options such as VHF, emergency bearing transmitter and satellite communication via Garmin Inreach or Iridium are the most relevant to be able to call for help. The latter is expensive and requires a subscription. Garmin InReach has pure message-based satellite communication which is an alternative to Iridium, but can then send and receive short messages. This also requires a subscriber.

Satellite Emergency SOS will be available with an upcoming iOS 16 software update in November 2022, and unfortunately the service is currently only available in the United States and Canada.


Chelsea Glisson

"Devoted reader. Thinker. Proud food specialist. Evil internet scholar. Bacon practitioner."

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