ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A hiker in New Jersey survived a steep-slide down an embankment, but his rescue might not have happened without a major assist from his watch.
When James Prudenciano set out for a hike with a friend last Monday, he never imagined the day would go so drastically downhill.
“It’s one of my favorite parks, beautiful place, if you don’t get lost,” Prudenciano said.
As dusk settled in at Hartshorn Park in Atlantic Highlands. He and his friend did get lost and slid 500 feet down an embankment before another steep drop from a cliff.
“I basically was saying my last word, I was so petrified I was going to die.”
James says he’s hiked those trails 100 times throughout his life. The mistake he and his friend made this time, leaving too late in the afternoon. He didn’t realize it would get so dark so fast.
“There was absolutely no lighting… We were just in a really bad situation on a mountain that we could not scale and there was no help.”
Then suddenly help from an unexpected place came – his brand new watch.
“I remember hearing ‘911 what’s your emergency,’ and it was the watch speaking to me.”
The new Apple Watch has a special feature called “fall detection.” It senses a fall and asks if you’re ok. If there’s no answer it alerts 911. James activated the settings the night before.
The owner of this Apple Watch is taking a hard fall and is not responding to their watch the emergency location is…
Using GPS rescuers found him at the bottom of the cliff with a broken ankle and fractured back.
“I was just praying to God I was not paralyzed.”
After four days in the hospital he’s limping along telling his story; grateful for the technology that saved him and his friend and anxious to get back on these trails in daylight.