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Shipwrecked and Stranded—Then Saved by an iPhone

A FEMA employee and her friends are crediting a water-damaged iPhone with saving them after their boat capsized in high seas.

Rachel Neil and friends were sailing near a remote island off the coast of Okanawa, Japan when they hit rough waters and were forced to abandon ship. Before they jumped, though, Neil grabbed a “go bag” she’d brought along. That proved to be a potentially life saving decision.

“I literally turned, grabbed it and just jumped,” she tells NBC’s Today show.

Quickly realizing the bag was filled with the group’s phones, she pulled one out (her boyfriend’s): It was waterlogged beyond hope and wouldn’t work. She found her own iPhone, which was advertised as water resistant. While it had also been submerged, she was able to summon help. The Japanese Coast Guard picked them up 90 minutes later.

The phone stayed functional throughout the ordeal. Neil even shot video of a friend being lifted out of the water by the Coast Guard helicopter.

This isn’t the first time Apple products are being credited with saving someone. Ealier this year, a New York man’s Apple Watch told him to immediately seek medical attention after he suffered an erupted ulcer. And Siri was praised for saving an infant’s life after the mother used the built-in voice activation to call emergency services in Australia.