Saved by his iPhone: Brit snowboarder rescued after he fell down 15ft Alps crevasse

1 April 2022, 14:20

Brit snowboarder saved by his iPhone after he fell down Alps crevasse. Picture: Instagram

By Liam Gould

A British snowboarder has been saved by his smartphone after he fell down a 15ft hole in the Alps and used Apple's SOS feature to call for emergency services.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Tim Blakey, 41, was using his snowboard alone at around 10,000ft when he fell down a crevasse hidden by layers of snow.

The personal trainer fell into the 15ft hole and onto a fragile snow bridge that caught his fall, which meant he didn't plummet further.

Trapped in the crevasse with just 3 per cent charge left on his phone, he had the idea to press his iPhone power button five times on and off. This activated the SOS feature which automatically called the emergency services and shared his location.

After being rescued by emergency services, Mr Blakey said: "I had a battery booster in my backpack and had to move very, very carefully to get it off and get it out."

"I had a 3G connection down there but needed it on long enough for them to locate me. It was 20 minutes before I got hold of the emergency services and they told me not to move."

Read More: Tougher law introduced for mobile phone use in cars: New rules explained

Mr Blakey was rescued after 45 minutes of being trapped in the crevasse by Rescue volunteer Michael Schwarzl, who received the text with Blakey's location.

He later led the rescue team and called for a helicopter air lift for Mr Blakey.

The experienced mountain rescuer said: "He was very lucky to have a phone signal. Three days later, I attended a similar rescue nearby, but the person fell 100ft and died."

Mr Blakey was rushed to hospital where he left the same day with an injured ankle ligament.

Read More: April fuel's day: Brits struggle with cost of living as energy costs rise by £700 today

A week after the incident, Mr Blakey posted on social media reflecting on his ordeal.

"A week ago to this very minute my appreciation for life changed dramatically. Michael and his team quite literally saved my life," he said.

"I am still clueless as to how I will ever repay him and the Swiss rescue services.

"Seventeen years snowboarding and the majority of those times spending a lot of the time solo and off-piste. Never solo again."

Apple's SOS feature is installed on every iPhone sold by the company, and is activated by pressing the on/off button five times.

The tech company's website highlights "when you make a call with SOS, your iPhone will automatically call the local emergency number for where you are".

After the call, a text will be sent to their emergency contacts set up on the phone with their location.

Mr Blakey said he was indebted to the company for including the feature in their smartphone models.

"The last thank you is to Apple [and] their side button five click to emergency services – especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Shani Louk (left), Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila.

'No father would want to hear this': Shani Louk's family speak out after Nova festival victim's body discovered in Gaza

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes was found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Female teacher, 30, given one last chance to see baby after being found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Steve Buscemi

Man charged over random assault on actor Steve Buscemi in New York

Obit Dabney Coleman

Actor Dabney Coleman, who specialised in curmudgeons, dies aged 92

David DePape, 44, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the US.

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer sentenced to 30 years behind bars

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course

World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler 'in shock' after being arrested as he reveals he warmed up for US PGA in jail cell

Charles, Camilla and William will join forces to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

King Charles to make first overseas trip since cancer diagnosis for D-Day anniversary event with Camilla and William

Manchester Pride says its survey has found 45% of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester are calling for more action to tackle hate crimes.

'Nearly half' of LGBTQ+ people calling for more action to tackle hate crimes, survey reveals

Dana Abuqamar, 19, has said she's had her student visa revoked

Palestinian student who faces deportation over October 7 comments insists she was not referring to Hamas

David DePape

Man convicted of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband with hammer sentenced to jail

France New Caledonia Unrest

Violence in New Caledonia subsides slightly as France sends in reinforcements

Itzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

Floating pier

First deliveries of aid for Gaza Strip move across newly built floating pier

Max the cat on a wall

Max the friendly cat awarded honorary degree by US university

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes has been found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

How maths teacher Rebecca Joynes ruined her ‘dream career’ as she’s found guilty of sex with two schoolboys

Shani Louk, Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages, including Shani Louk kidnapped at Nova music festival, recovered by Israel in Gaza