Wandering through Gambrill State Park northwest of Frederick, Maryland, Christopher Tkacik, a 43-year-old lawyer, and his dog Boo got lost in the woods while on a hike through the park as reported by My Fox DC. After walking in circles for hours, Tkacik eventually resigned himself to the fact that they were lost and used his iPhone to call emergency services. While the Google Maps application was continuing to give him the incorrect location on his iPhone, Tkacik was able to send his wife a text message that he was lost, but in good shape. After the 911 call, the local sheriff dispatched a helicopter to look around Gambrill State Park to locate Tkacik.
Tkacik waited until he heard the helicopter hovering nearby and turned on his iPhone flashlight application to catch the attention of the pilot. Just like a flare, the pilot spotted the iPhone flashlight in the darkness of the wooded area and two rescue workers rappelled 150 feet from the helicopter to help guide Tkacik and his dog Boo to safety out of the woods. The entire ordeal took about four hours and got Tkacik back to his wife in time to attend a New Year’s Eve party. Interestingly, Tkacik had recently given his wife the Steve Jobs biography for Christmas and she stated “I started reading it. Steve Jobs with the iPhone–oh my gosh–technology’s good,” during an interview with a local television station.
Tkacik didn’t let the incident sour him on hiking and returned to the trails on Monday. When asked about the iPhone, he stated “Having a charged phone made a world of difference. If I didn’t have a phone, I would have been stuck really bad.” In a much greater disaster in 2010, Apple’s iPhone also helped out Haiti earthquake survivor Dan Woolley of Colorado Springs to self-diagnose and treat injuries to his body by using a medical application as well as the glowing light emanating from the iPhone.