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This is terrific. In my other life I do substantial work with Disability Alliance UK, and they strongly promote this service.
Many times whilst there's no full-on voice coverage you can still get a SMS through.
Some of this is to do with your carrier - Vodaphone have by far the best coverage, particularly in the Western Highlands, since they are the carrier of choice for Search-and-Rescue. In my own experience since 2001 I've on multiple occasions gotten a Vodaphone signal whereas my companions on other networks have been unable to connect.
Worried souls might want to look into a SIM-only Vodaphone deal for the Challenge tranche. You can just throw it away afterwards. Or leave it at The Park - c/o The House of Forgotten Dreams.
It looks like you only have to register for the SMS service using either 999 or 112, not both
Here's a link to a forum where someone tested registering with both
http://www.caravantalk.co.uk/community/topic/76786-the-secrets-of-using-112-on-a-mobile-phone-in-an-emergencyaccident/page-2 (see sixth post)
From what I can see 999/112 are treated the same by the phone companies in the UK and are interchangeable
Absolutely correct Robin, I think the 112 number has been launched to take the pressure off 999.
From those in the know, from the emergency services there is agreement between all network providers that transmissions on the emergency number will be accepted by all providers regardless of your what your own network provider is.
So that is all good!
112 is the standardised EU emergency number and recognised in many other countries like the US and runs alongside country specific emergency numbers like 999 and 911
On the subject of emergencies using a mobile phone.
I attended a first aid course recently given by Phil Glennie who also works with the Braemar mountain rescue and he told us the following.
If you declare an emergency with your mobile phone don't be tempted to switch it off to save power. With only one mast picking up your signal they can establish your direction and distance thereby locating your position. I think this takes a little time and requires someone to request it but it means that even if you don't know where you are, they can find you. Reasuring to know.
Hope this works- I found this very informative
Thanks Alan, that is very useful intel .
Hope to see you on the crossing.