SMS Saves Lives

from the and-I-thought-it-was-all-bad dept

We’ve already shown how sending text messages via mobile phone can kill people, but now here’s a story of people being saved thanks to SMS messages. A woman tourist trapped on a broken down boat in Indonesia sent an SMS message to her boyfriend in the UK. He contacted the coastguard who contacted the Australian Foreign Office who contacted Indonesian authorities, and the tourists were saved. What I still don’t understand, though, is why she didn’t just call for help on the phone?

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “SMS Saves Lives”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:


probably because she doesn’t speak the language or didn’t know the phone number for
emergency help (if they have one) or the coast guard (which the apparently do have).

Of course, if she had a web enabled Imode phone and assuming the Indonesian coast
guard had a web page (and that’s a rather large assumption), then she could despense
with the boyfriend all together.

In all probablility, she just got board and started SMSing… one thing lead to another
and now we have a publishable news blurb.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Maybe she tried but the connection wasn’t
strong enough to support a voice call, but
was sufficient for SMS. That’s happened to
me many times.

Ah! That makes sense. Not being a big SMS user, I didn’t think of that. However, it does say she received a call from the coast guard, so it sounds as though she did have a strong enough signal. But maybe she didn’t when she first tried to call.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Text messaging is popular there because the the little thrid world brown people don’t have much
money to spend on voice. Any penny-scraping technology that happens along get adopted
immediately by everyone. There’s a lesson to be learned from that for those who want to do
commerce over wireless. In the states, if it doesn’t arrive with full RFC822 headers, then
it’s not a “message”.

Olivier Travers (user link) says:

SMS often cheaper than voice, related to prepaid

In Europe, many (young) people use SMS as a cheap, fast alternative to voice. You don’t have to call several times or leave voice messages to get through. Since youngsters often have prepaid packages, it’s a way to control costs and postpone having to pay another hour or two.
See GSM World for more on the topic.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...