The iPhone hack that saved Kiwi snowboarder stuck on ice shelf in Swiss Alps

It was a lucky escape for Kiwi Tim Blakey, who fell five metres into a crevasse while snowboarding by himself in Switzerland. 

He used a little-known iPhone function to signal for help, all while perched on a narrow ice shelf.  

It was a bluebird day in the alps of Switzerland and Blakey was making the most of it.

"Last run of the day and the ground just went from underneath me, I ended up falling into a crevasse and somehow managed to land on a little snow bridge, a little shelf of ice," Blakey says.

"If I hadn't landed on that, I would've gone a lot further."

He'd been snowboarding alone and was now in a precarious position all by himself.

"[It was] pretty terrifying - especially when I realised that I couldn't call out, or no one was going to hear me calling out," Blakey said.

He'd fallen five metres into a crevasse.

"It's quite a depth to get out," he says. "My board has wedged to stop me from falling further."

Tim's phone had three percent of battery but was within 3G range when he remembered a little-known iPhone hack.

"You click it five times, one, two, three, four, five and it automatically dials emergency services wherever you are," Blakey says.

A power bank in his backpack kept his phone alive long enough for help to locate him.

He kept the whole ordeal a secret from his parents.

"He didn't want to upset his parents until my birthday had been," his father Bob said. 

All he told them was that he had injured his foot.

"I just thought, 'there's something more to this, it's not just a sore foot' - he just kept saying 'I'm really sorry mum and dad, I'm really sorry'," Mum Sue says.

He eventually admitted what had really happened when more people heard of his miraculous rescue and shared the videos with his family.

"There was a couple that he sent and he said 'Mum, I don't want you to watch this' - but of course, I did," Sue said.

Both Sue and Bob are grateful for Tim's quick thinking and good fortune.

"I was quite proud of the fact he owned up that 'I was stupid, hadn't done my research on the area, nobody knew I was there' - so he was an idiot," Sue says.

Tim says he'll be back on the board soon, but next time he won't go it alone.