KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) – Three boaters are crediting their iPhone’s voice-activated personal assistant with helping them contact police after their vessel sank off the coast of Key Biscayne, Saturday morning.
The fishermen — a father, his son and a friend — said they ran into rough seas about four miles off the coast, at around 10 a.m. They said the waves were too much for the 18-foot Falcon, and the boat began taking on water.
“It just swamped the boat, and they couldn’t turn on the motor, and the boat eventually went under,” said Miami-Dade Police Marine Patrol Officer Joaquin Garcia.
Officials said the passengers were unable to put on their life jackets before the boat sank. “They were floating without life jackets and holding on to a cooler,” said Miami-Dade Police Marine Patrol Sgt. James Barrett.
Fortunately, authorities said, one of them had the technology they needed to call for help. “They had an iPhone 7, which I’m learning today is waterproof,” said Barrett. “However, he couldn’t touch the screen with his fingers ’cause they were cold, but he used Siri to call 911, and that’s how we received the call.”
A U.S. Coast Guard chopper team found the group first and dropped in a diver to stay with the group until a Miami-Dade Police boat arrived.
The father in the boat was identified as 54-year-old Jorge Colon Gonzalez and his son was identified as 33-year-old Jorge Colon. The family friend was identified as 66-year-old Diego Perez. All three were brought safely to shore.
Officials said the scare at sea serves as an important reminder about having the right safety equipment. “Life vests save lives, and it’s really important, especially if you can’t swim and you want to go out on a boat, to have your life vest on,” said Miami-Dade Police Marine Patrol Officer Grace Green.
The boaters were a little shaken up, but they didn’t have to go to the hospital.
(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)