When the technology works as intended, it can help and the Sault Ste. Marie says the free What 3 Words app helped rescue a hiker who went missing over the weekend.
Police said they received an emergency call around 5 p.m. Sunday from a hiker who got lost on the Voyageur Trail, north of Sixth Line.
911 dispatchers were able to pinpoint the person’s exact location using information provided by the app, which divides the world into three-meter squares that each have a unique combination of three words.
“The hiker was ordered to hold his position and wait for officers,” police said in a news release Tuesday morning.
“Two members of the emergency services unit traveled to the area using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and were able to quickly locate the lost hiker and return him to safety.”
While Northern Ontario is full of wilderness to explore, police are reminding adventurers to stay on marked and approved trails, stick to trails based on skill level, and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
“Have a cell phone with you and make sure it’s charged so you can call for help if you get lost,” police said.
The app will still work even if you are offline.
“Without a phone signal, the app works the same way as when you don’t have a data connection: you can view the location of any what3words address you enter. You can also access it using the compass mode,” the app’s website says.
“To share a what3words address by phone or text, you need a phone signal. To load maps or share in other apps or social networks, you need a data connection.”
More information on how it works here.