Community encouraged to check devices for emergency alert feature

Friday, 16 December 2022 03:58:09 PM

Police are encouraging the public to be mindful on our waterways when carrying mobile phones and smart watches with automated crash detection feature after several false activations.

The default feature on smart mobile phones and watches is designed to alert emergency services via Triple Zero ‘000’ when the device holder has been involved in a crash, in most cases, detecting the rapid deceleration of a motor vehicle.

Recent marine responses have highlighted that the device can be triggered when it is on board a vessel that is travelling over choppy water or bouncing over waves.

Whilst recognising the effectiveness of the alert feature, officers attached to the Marine Area Command have seen an increase in false activations as the community returns to our waters.

Marine Area Command Commander, Superintendent Murray Reynolds, has urged the community to check their mobile devices for the feature and be aware of its capabilities before getting on the water.

“The feature is becoming increasingly prominent as people update their devices and I encourage the community to check their setting as it may have become a default,” Superintendent Reynolds said.

“It is just as important to know how to cancel an alert when an emergency response is not required.”

“An unintentional activation of this feature when on the water can trigger an extensive response not only from Police, but also Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving, utilising valuable resources and time,” Superintendent Reynolds said.