Call with Apple Watch Series 3 saves kitesurfer from shark-infested waters

Posted:
in Apple Watch
After a nasty crash with a landing in a great white shark nursery area, a kite surfer used his Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE to summon rescuers, and direct them to his location.




According to an account published by the Daily Mail kite surfer John Zilles had been using a hydrofoil and crashed in the shark-infested waters. He was unable to get the hydrofoil and kite attachment back together after the crash, stranding him a mile off shore.

"I was out learning to foil on a light wind, and was cruising along, proud of myself, and realized I was quite a way offshore," said Zilles. "As I was swimming away, my kite fell down, and because it was a calm day so I couldn't get it to fly again. Suddenly I was a mile offshore and my ride was over."

Zilles commenced his swim that he originally thought would be only an hour -- but first called his children to tell them that he was going to be delayed. After the first call, he called his son back to send the number of the Ventura, Calif. harbor patrol.

After a case of mistaken identity where Zilles kicked his gear and thought it was a shark, and the realization that he wasn't making much progress in the swim, he called the harbor patrol. Shortly thereafter, he spotted the rescue boat, and vectored it to his position.

"I've seen people put phones in waterproof cases but, didn't want to risk it - so when the Watch came out I thought this is awesome, I should do it.," said Zilles. "My wife was giving me a hard time, for buying more technology, but I leave my phone at home a lot now -- I think it's freeing us from the addiction of phones."

Zilles contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook about the matter. Reportedly, Cook sent back a response saying that he was "happy to hear you are safe."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Apparently all water is shark infested... great it worked, but even the original article there weren't any ACTUAL sharks seen in the water. Could there have been sure... but there weren't, so "infested" is a tad overkill.
    jbdragonStrangeDaysmattinoz1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 2 of 10
    ibgarrett said:
    Apparently all water is shark infested... great it worked, but even the original article there weren't any ACTUAL sharks seen in the water. Could there have been sure... but there weren't, so "infested" is a tad overkill.
    Well the article did also say that it was a GW nursery area.  Having swum in the waters off Ventura's beaches, I am glad I never knew that.  But then again, as far as I was concerned, every minnow was a shark.  Today, here in the midwest, I'm more afraid of loan sharks... I wonder if the watch can help in such a circumstance?  :)
    jbdragoncaliAlexanderHC
  • Reply 3 of 10
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,230member
    ibgarrett said:
    Apparently all water is shark infested... great it worked, but even the original article there weren't any ACTUAL sharks seen in the water. Could there have been sure... but there weren't, so "infested" is a tad overkill.
    I would agree that the term was used to sensationalize the story, but it's very likely that under all reasonable classifications of the "water" he was in there were very likely many sharks. Even within a small area like a cove or beach area water there are likely many sharks, but this was in Ventura, CA, which is directly connected to the Pacific Ocean and I'm certain there are enough sharks in it to create a Sharknado.
    retrogusto
  • Reply 4 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,204member
    Since more people are killed every year from slipping in the bathtub, I think AI should publish a story of someone having to call after taking a shower.  I'm sure they don't want to be mistaken for over-sensationalizing a story.
    StrangeDaysmattinoz
  • Reply 5 of 10
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    I think the sharks were attracted to the red dot....
    edited November 2017 caliGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 10
    I hope that the Harbor Patrol sends him a hefty bill for rescuing him, along with a discount coupon for a course on safe kitesurfing.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Just the fact that this idiot decided to practice anything in the vicinity of a great white shark nursery tells me his death would have strengthen the gene pool via natural selection.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    macxpress said:
    I think the sharks were attracted to the red dot....
    Having that seal sound as his ring tone wasn't a bright move either.
    cali
  • Reply 9 of 10
    vukasika said:
    Just the fact that this idiot decided to practice anything in the vicinity of a great white shark nursery tells me his death would have strengthen the gene pool via natural selection.
    It says he called his kids. No Darwin awards for people that have reproduced. :)
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,046member
    And the following week, he used is Apple Watch to call the emergency services to free him from underneath a fallen drinks machine. 
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