back to article iPhone keeps buried earthquake victim alive for three days

An American filmmaker trapped under the rubble of his hotel used his iPhone for medical advice, while relying on his SLR for light and paper for recording his last thoughts. Happily, Dan Woolley was rescued after 65 hours of being trapped after the Haiti earthquake with nothing but a couple of grands' worth of electronics and …


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  1. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    Pity he didn't download one of those stupid Virtual Girlfriend apps, he could have had some company, too.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Too dangerous

      Too much risk of dehydration..

  2. Neil Hoskins

    "...while relying on his SLR for light and paper for recording his last thoughts..."

    His iPhone doesn't have a torch (flashlight) app or some means of making notes? That's a bit crap, isn't it? Should have bought a 5800.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes, the iPhone has a note-taking app and can serve as a basic torch (whether one uses a torch app or not) but.... *drum roll*... these functions use up battery life!

      I've never been trapped underground, but if I was using a smart phone - regardless of the make - to check medical advice and to wake me up every 20 minutes, I would work on the principle that it's best not using the phone battery for functions that could be done by other tools at my disposal.

    2. Rob Moir

      Fail indeed

      I'm glad you labelled your own post as the fail it is, saves the rest of us the bother.

      Whatever phone you had, if you were relying on some part of it for survival, would you *really* want to run the battery down for trivia like torch applications, or to take your "final thoughts" notes that might be more likely to get lost on a phone than on paper anyway?

  3. Nat Pryce

    Waiting for the TV ad

    Buried alive? There's an app for that!

  4. Neur0mancer

    I think I would have...

    ...taken advantage of the time alone and had myself a 65 hour wankathon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'd've probably thought it more important to conserve fluids myself.

      1. stu 4
        Thumb Up

        @Christopher P. Martin

        Exactly - its just a real version of the popular iphone game 'paper toss'.. except you need to aim for your own mouth.. if u get my drift.

        I'd have thought after a few hours in the dark he'd get the hang of it - and it's a handy party trick to have....Also - helps you know which way is up - useful if ever buried alive in an avalanche too!

      2. Neur0mancer
        Paris Hilton


        I think those fluids would be preserved somehow.

        Ask Paris.

    2. Mike Moyle


      ...And have to explain that mountain of used tissues around you if you were still alive when the diggers got down to you...?

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


      Having to explain why you have to be surgically separated from the concrete you were lying on after it all dried is IMHO best avoided. Besides, think what all that dust will do.

      OTOH, you could have given the oleophobic coating a whole new test..

  5. pctechxp

    I doubt he'll want any other phone

    After that.

    Wonder if he'll mail his Steveness to thank him for such a device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure he will.

      And I'm sure our lord Jobs will tell him to fuck off and change his name.

  6. Nick 70


    so the only thing he really used was the iPhones alarm...

    a thing the cheapest feature phone also have...

    Any idiot (ups we're talking about a Yank here, hence +100.000 apps in the US App store) knows how to tend to wound or ???

    1. ThomH

      Try reading the article again

      "Woolley was lucky to have already downloaded Jive Media's Pocket First Aid & CRP, and was able to treat his wounds with torn clothing"

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Thumb Down

        Only the iPhone can do this of course.

        Nobody would ever think of ripping a sleeve off to serve as a makeshift bandage on their own. It humbles me to think that, had it been me, I'd have bled to death through lack of an iPhone and a crummy app.

        Then again I suppose I might just have remembered the odd scene or several from war films, action movies, medical dramas (etc. ad infinitum) involving bandaging wounds, while I was lying there with nothing else to do but come up with a way of stopping myself dying.

      2. Allan George Dyer
        Thumb Down

        but you can learn

        the same information on a general First Aid course at your local Red Cross or St. John Ambulance, with the advantage that you can still access the info when the batteries run out.

        Also, Bill, I think that's CPR, not CRP (or was an A missing?)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...I know he was trapped in a lift shaft and all, but does anyone else find this guy really annoying? His "last messages" also made me feel slightly ill.

  8. Chris Wood

    Battery Life

    I eeked out my iPhone battery for over three days by turning off 3G, location services, bluetooth, WiFi etc (basically everything except your standard GSM) whilst I was at a festival. I had a cigarette-lighter based charger in the car but didn't have to bother with it.

    Granted I didn't do anything but send the occasional SMS for the whole weekend, not sure what the battery usage of a medical app would be.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Battery life?

      His battery life would have been much reduced had he used the defibrillator app.


    I PHONE...

    If he had invested in a blackberry he could have emailed someone.

    I phone doesnt have email. FACT.

    I phone has outdated camera

    I phone is rubbish.


    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge


      iPhone does have email. FACT.

      Sorry to disappoint you about that, but I do own an iPhone and do use it regularly for email. OK, it doesn't have the keypad a lot of blackberries have, but it does do push email.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      That's right, he could email with no mobile coverage. Because the infrastructure was destroyed by the massive natural disaster which has been all over the news for days.

      Well played sir. You win a clue.

    3. Adam T

      One can only gather...'re an idiot.


    4. Brett


      FACT: I use mine for email all the time. Even better now Gmail does push mail.

      Having put up with Win mob devices for so long, I find the iPhone a breath of fresh air.

      That's how you survive being buried for three days............

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sarcasm tags needed?

        I think ActionMan8 was being sarcastic guys - no need to get all worked up.

    5. Anonymous Coward


      iPhone has push email, not to mention clients for those infuriating social network sites (FACT)

      He had an SLR - why would he want to use a phone to take photos (duh!). Hell, I've yet to see a phone that has an SLR class camera (very few, if any have optical zoom and a decent lens).

      Blackberry is rubbish - as valid as your comment, foaming-at-the-mouth fanboy. It's all horses for courses - you like the crackberry, fine, but check your facts and pass puberty before you slag something off.

    6. Anonymous Coward

      ^ You ^

      <- This

  10. Darren Coleman
    Black Helicopters

    iPhone lasted 3 days between charges? Cmon..

    I find it hard to believe his iPhone lasted 3 days between charges... my 2G barely lasts 1.5 days if I actually use it.

  11. SimpleUser
    Jobs Halo

    Aren't those Apple products just great!

    The story confirms it all.

  12. dave 93

    He could charge the phone from the laptop


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Notebook has more than one meaning

      You should consider rereading the article and working out which one was the one used here.

      (Tip: look for words having a meaning close to pen, and deduce it from there)

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        I know!

        "Tip: look for words having a meaning close to pen..."

        You're saying it was a Windows one and thus not compatible with the iPhone then? "Pen computing" FWIW.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Er ...

        Quill? Enclosure?

  13. Weeble9000


    'Having established that falling asleep would be bad, if he were in a state of shock'

    Err, why's that then?

    1. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm


      If it was physiological shock, which given that he was bandaging himself with strips of clothing seems likely, falling asleep could lead to coma or at least not being awake to notice things going wrong. The body temperature drops when you're asleep, too - not a good thing to happen when you're in shock.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The headline should be iPhone battery lasts three days!

    To get that kind of life he must have been right on top of the cell mast, or maybe right under it!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    65 hours is quite easy on a full charge if wifi is disabled, email inactive and the screen brightness on minimum. My MkI iPhone worked for several days when stuck in iran. Mine remained connected to the cell network throughout

  16. vincent himpe

    CRP ?

    Crap Returning Phone ?

  17. Sclodion

    Re: Sleep

    Because when you're in shock, your body shuts down and you can slip into a coma. Hence you always try and keep overdose victims conscious.

    1. Gary F 1


      "Hence you always try and keep overdose victims conscious".

      No you bloody don't - you let them sleep as much as possible.

      There is no good medical rationale to keep overdosers conscious.

      If you do, the pathetic, miserable, non-coping whiners will bore you to tears with their oh-so-valid reason for taking the overdose - split with girl/boyfriend, no job, no friends (no surprise) wanting sympathy, bored, fancied a trip to hospital etc.

      There is reason to treat the overdose, but no need to keep the loser awake whilst you do it.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Is there a little detail we forgot in the excitement?

    Haiti, I presume...?

    1. rcdicky

      I don't think anyone forgot...

      about Haiti. But then that's not what this article is about.

      There are plenty of other sites that have coverage, go there...

  19. Tim 59
    Jobs Halo

    Miracle #1...

    Our man at Cupertino is a third of his way to being St. Steve.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Paid for media release?

    The camera is a dSLR with, apparently, no name brand? Yet the iPhone is explicitly mentioned by name?

    Would a headline of "Canon dSLR keeps buried earthquake victim alive for three days" have worked just as well?

    And another thing, why use 'flight mode' (as many comments have claimed)? Surely the signal could have led rescuers to the phone if he left it on? (And that doesn't require the network to be up).

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Gary F 1

    Wow, you're all heart, aren't you. Sheesh.

  23. Gavin Bloeman


    Do you think any of this actually happened? Sounds like a press release from Jive Media to me.

  24. Jigr69

    iPhone keeps man alive

    On reading the headlines, you'd think that using the iPhone prolonged his life by emitting water or some other hydrate, but no it was the information contained within....

    Information that for most people is called common sense, but then again, we are talking about someone who comes from a country were they need to label coffee and tea as being hot! Once saw a commedian who suggested that all warnings from food etc should be removed and allow natural selection to sort out the gene pool.

  25. Craig 28

    Well to be honest

    The information about shock probably isn't common knowledge. On the other hand if you were going to a potentially iffy area you probably would want to take a first aid course first.

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