Three words said over the phone saved a man’s life

A man who was in distress this morning was able to alert emergency services thanks to a phone app that uses three words to give away his location.

Just after 3am, Wirral and Southport coastguard and lifeboat services were asked to carry out a water-based search on Crosby Beach after reports of an incident.

On the way, they were in contact with North West Ambulance Service who said they had the exact location of the casualty who had used the what3words app on his phone.

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As the coastguard services arrived at the scene, Police said they had found the person in the water and a man in his late 20s was taken to hospital.

Emergency services were able to accurately locate the casualty due to the man having installed and used the app on his phone.

This was the first time that the app has been used by Wirral Coastguards who said it had “proved to be exceptionally useful” in finding the casualty very quickly.

The app works by dividing the world up into three-metre squares, with each square allocated three words.

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When a person finds themselves in difficulty, they open the app and they will be given three words that correspond to their location to pass on to emergency services.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “Location applications and data can help and assist Her Majesty's Coastguard and our teams during responses to search and rescue incidents.”

North West Ambulance also said they had started using the service to help find people who may not know their exact location.

The free app is available for Apple and Android phones and has been downloaded over five million times.