MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies in South Florida were able to rescue a man after his vehicle veered into a canal because his iPhone sent an automated distress signal, authorities said.
According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the 38-year-old man’s vehicle was partially submerged after it veered into a canal near Indiantown at about 1 a.m. EST on Wednesday, TCPalm.com reported.
Deputies were able to locate the man after his iPhone sent an automated signal to alert first responders, according to the news outlet. The signal provided latitude and longitude coordinates, and deputies were able to use Google maps to find the victim.
Deputies responding to the scene could hear the man’s cries for help, according to body camera video.
“I’m so cold,” the man said. “Can you give me a blanket, please sir? I’m freezing.”
“The victim that night was probably slipping into a form of hyperthermia, you can tell by watching the video,” Chief Deputy John Budensiek told WPEC-TV.
The vehicle was overturned in the water. The man grabbed onto a deputy’s arm as law enforcement officials attempted to open the vehicle’s door, TCPalm.com reported.
“Stay back from the window, buddy, I’m going to bust it,” one of the deputies can be heard on the body cam footage.
Deputies were able to pry the vehicle’s door open after breaking a window, TCPalm.com reported. The man was taken to an area hospital.
“The incident happened around 1 a.m. on a dark desolate road after the victim crashed into the water in (an) attempt to avoid an animal in the road,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
“In a canal that I know has alligators in it, (deputies) jumped in without regard for themselves or their own safety,” Budensiek told WPEC. “The individual driving had swerved to miss a wild hog. It’s a freak accident.”
Speed was not a factor in the crash, and the driver was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, investigators told TCPalm.com.
According to video posted by the sheriff’s office, the man was pulled free from the vehicle at about 1:28 a.m., the Miami Herald reported.
“That phone application saved him (from) what could have been more catastrophic,” Budensiek told WPEC.