A Samsung Galaxy S8 was used to send SOS message that saved lives of 20 people following an accident on July 8 when a motorboat capsized off the Malapascua Island coast in Daanbantayan town of Cebu, Philippines. The boat was on an island-hopping excursion, according to an Inquirer.net report and carried 16 foreign divers along with four Filipino nationals.
Samsung claimed in a blog post that a Galaxy S8 smartphone that belonged to a Canadian national was used by other passengers to make a call to the coast guards and their location was spotted thanks to the phone’s GPS. The post adds that the Galaxy S8 was found submerged under the boat after about 30 minutes, but continued to function properly until much later, which saved the lives of those trapped.
For those unaware, Samsung Galaxy S8 has IP68 rating, which means it can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. An SOS message in case of emergency can be sent to saved contacts by tapping the power button three times if the “Send SOS message” feature is activated.
Following the incident, the Canadian national is said to have reached out to Samsung to thank its engineering team and pointed out that the phone continued to function much after they safely reached the land, which “really made the difference”.
The incident follows a lawsuit against Samsung in Australia earlier this month for alleged misleading advertisements over claims of water resistance. Most Samsung flagship phones come with Ingress Protection or IP rating of different levels. For instance, the newer Galaxy S9, as well as the Galaxy S10 series, also carry the same IP68 rating.
However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that Samsung did not conduct sufficient testing to know the actual effects of fresh water or saltwater exposure on its phones.