News reports about smartphones are always about specifications and new features. We rarely come across stories that throw light on the impact of these pocket computers on our lives. In one such story, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has helped in saving the lives of 20 people at sea in Cebu province, Philippines, thanks to its IP68 water and dust resistance.
A boat carrying 16 foreign divers and four Filipino nationals tipped over on July 8 in the waters off Bogo City. The passengers were, however, rescued when they called for help after 30 minutes and shared their GPS location with a Galaxy S8. The device, which belonged to a Canadian national Jim Emdee, was submerged in water but remained functional due to its water-resistant design. Ironically, this incident happened just days after Samsung was accused of false claims about its devices’ water resistance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“I really hope my thanks can make it to the engineering team as honestly it really saved us all. Only my S8 was able to connect and it worked all the way until we made it to land. It stayed alive for much longer than I thought possible, and it really made the difference,” said Emdee while thanking Samsung’s engineering team.
“We are glad to hear that the passengers are all safe, and that a Samsung phone was helpful in the rescue effort. We will continue to work towards producing devices that can come to users’ aid when they find themselves in dire situations,” said James Jung, Head of Samsung Electronics Philippines, commenting on the incident.
Samsung also took this opportunity to remind users about the ‘Send SOS messages’ feature in Galaxy smartphones. When enabled (Settings → Advanced features → Send SOS message), users can press the power button three times quickly to send an SOS message to designated emergency contacts. The company also advised the customers to keep the GPS tracker on while traveling alone or in remote areas.