A man has credited an Apple Watch safety feature with saving his father's life, after a bad fall left him unconscious on a remote hiking trail.

Bob Burdett was mountain biking in Riverside State Park, in Washington, last Sunday, when he flipped his bike at the bottom of Doomsday Hill. As he fell, he hit his head and was left unconscious.

Bob had an emergency feature enabled on his Apple Watch called "hard fall".

When hard fall is activated, if the watch detects the wearer has taken a hard fall, the watch will "tap" them on the wrist. If the watch doesn't receive a response within a minute, it will automatically call emergency services, and notify emergency contacts listed in the watch.


His son Gabe, who received emergency text updates from the watch, posted to Facebook about the incident.

"We drove straight there — but he was gone when we arrived," Gabe explained on Facebook.

Gabe received updates from his father's watch. Photo / Facebook
Gabe received updates from his father's watch. Photo / Facebook

"I get another update from the watch saying his location has changed with a map location of (Sacred Heart Medical Centre).

"The watch had called 911 with his location and EMS had him scooped up and to the hospital in under a 1/2 hr. The fire dept. took his bike back to the station.

"My brother was already driving by the the hospital when the second update came in and was able to be with him right away."

Gabe said his dad is doing great following the accident, despite being a "little sore".

He urged Apple Watch owners to turn on Hard Fall detection.

"Had he fallen somewhere on the High Drive trails or another remote area, the location would have clued EMS in on where to find him," Gabe wrote. "Amazing technology and so glad he had it!"


The post has gone viral, with more than 449,000 reactions and almost 500 comments.

"Wow! I'm glad ur dad got the help he needed in a quick manner and hope for a speedy recovery," one woman commented.