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20 people rescued at sea thanks to a Galaxy S8

About two weeks ago, a boat with 20 people on board had capsized off the coast of Malapascua Island near Cebu in the Philippines. Fortunately, all passengers were returned to shore thanks to a water-resistant smartphone.

It was reported that a Jim Emdee from Canada had managed to call for help when he found his submerged Galaxy S8 under the boat. Rescuers were provided with their location using the device’s GPS feature.

According to Jim, only his Galaxy S8 was able to connect and it worked all the way until they made it to land. He also added that his phone stayed alive for much longer than he thought possible, and that made the difference.

The Inquirer reported that the boat came from Malapascua, a known diving spot, and it carried 13 foreign divers, three dive instructors and a local divemaster plus three Filipino crewmen. The rescued foreigners including an Australian, a Swiss, a Hong Kong national, two Spaniards, five Americans, three Germans, an Israeli, an Italian and a Canadian.

The Head of Samsung Electronics Philippines, James Jung, said “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.”

Samsung advises its users to enable its emergency GPS locator feature on their smartphones while travelling especially if you’re going alone or heading to remote areas. This feature can be activated under Settings > Advanced features > Send SOS message.

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During emergencies, you can tap on the power button quickly three times and it will send an SOS message to up to four emergency contacts. The message can even include an instant photo from the camera as well as an audio recording. You can learn how to set it up here.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with an IP68 rated dust and water resistance. According to Samsung, it is certified as water-resistant in fresh water up to 1.5 metres deep for up to 30 minutes. In the news release, Samsung says neither beach nor pool use is advised, and water or dust damage are not covered by the device’s warranty.

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Alexander Wong